Monday, August 12, 2013

Vacation Journal - Getting There

So we get up pretty early on Thursday, because the girls get up pretty darn early.  Every.  Single.  Day.

Head back out on the road for the short leg of the scenic drive.  Once again, Sofie does not use her break time on the road the way we'd like.

Check in is 4pm, but we got there a little early and decided to see if the place was ready.  It was!


Checked out the kitchen, made a list and went grocery shopping.

Wulf and Steph were about 2 hours behind us, so we had plenty of time to do the errands and settle in.

When they got here, no one felt like cooking so we went to Nana's Irish Pub a block or two away from their hotel room.  The food was good.  It was a hoppin' place.  Pretty packed.  Service, meh.  Lost a sale on a round of drinks because they never checked on us during the meal.

After dinner, we walked around a bit then stopped at a local watering hole by the Chowder House.  Sand Bar.  Friendly bartender.  Good drinks.

Picture courtesy of Google Street View

Picture courtesy of Steph

Wulf and Steph stayed at The Whaler.  Nice economical rooms with a view.

Tomorrow, all about our Cottage!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vacation in Newport Part I

I have not seen the Pacific Ocean in 17 years.  I have not seen my friends Steph and Wulf for at least 10.

The vacation gods smiled upon our date choosing, and I was able to do both Aug 1-8.


On the way in, we decided to take the scenic route.  84 to 97 through Bend then 20 to Newport.  It was a beautiful drive but a few things did not go as planned of course.

I bought the dogs harnesses and a seatbelt gadget that did not work with a darn.  There is no way they would have been able to sit up with those.  So against what I wanted, we just put up the center divider in the truck and they rode in the back seat.  Heaven help us if we got in a wreck.  I am going to take apart the seatbelt things and redesign them to work for medium to big dogs.  Plus, the way seatbelts stop now, the way they had it was just dumb.  It was too hot for them to ride in the kennels in the back of the truck.  Luckily, they were both mellow and just slept or looked out the window.

Sofie did not understand why we take road breaks.  Penny did.  Penny would do her business right away.  Sofie NEVER did business on the road breaks.  She just held it until after dinner every night.  I can't imagine that's comfortable, but I can't think of a way to MAKE her go.  At least she got to stretch, walk around and sniff everything.

We stayed at a generic Hotel 6 or 8, I can't remember.  It was OK, not great.  But with two dogs, who cares.  It was obviously an old smoking room because it stank.  But it was right by the outside exit.  Since I was taking Sofie out every half hour in the hopes of a dry hotel room, I was thankful for the placement.  She finally went at around 9pm, in the rain of course.

Meals with two people and two dogs is interesting.  Hubby gets his meal, I wait with the dogs.  I go get my meal, he waits with the dogs.  Lots of fast food.  I have never been so eager for a serving of vegetables after 3 meals of fast food eaten in the truck.  Next time, packing a cooler and picnicking.

How Penny spent 90% of the trip:

How Sofie spent 90% of the trip:

Tomorrow:  Arrival at Newport!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunflower and Finch Day

I was determined to get some good shots of my garden birds today.  So I sat out in the yard for hours reading an e-book.  I left the camera on and just let it go into standby.  When I heard them, I'd pick up the camera and try to get them.

Success!  Today, Finches and Sunflowers, Tomorrow will be Hummingbird Day.

Finch on top of the Sunflowers - Hello there Birdy!

Sunflowers are about 10' tall.  Volunteers every year.

Sunflowers with a Bee.  I know it's not a Finch, but I liked the picture.


Finch taking off

Resting Finch
Looks like a yellow cottonball.

And of course, the most detailed, best close up, is of a bird butt.
Reminds me of a scene from Ace Ventura when he's talking to his friend at the desk.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Garden Update!

The snow peas have been yummy.  Not enough to save for a meal, but the snacking while I work outside is good.  I have to keep Penny away from them though.  She loves snow peas.  The problem is that she doesn't have the opposeable thumb thing going for her, so she tends to tug too hard and harms the plant.  Which is counterproductive to getting new snow peas.

The Lillies are gone.  Larkspur is hanging in there.  The hummingbirds just love them.  I have to regulars that are feeding at the flowers and feeders I put out.

Unsolicited Plug:

You can buy these little stoppers that go on the inside of the lid to keep bugs out.  It works, and my feeders stay nice and clear.

The "Mighty Maters" are doing GREAT.  So far outgrowing the regular ones by double the size.  We'll see how it goes come production time.

These pictures are just because.  The pond Koi don't get a lot of press on my blog, but they are wonderful.  They beg for their food in the evening, play in the waterfall.

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This Koi has my favorite coloring
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Here is Sofie, the wonderful big dog that does NOT understand that she has very big paws.  She's always stomping on our feet.
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A view from the hill
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Have a wonderful weekend out there.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A busy day in Boise!

The conference is going really well.  So far, there has been PLENTY for me to do and learn.

Tomorrow, the IT Crowd will be out at the Meridian Center.

I am so proud of myself!  Armed with my phone and a complete lack of direction, I was able to go to the Boise Aquarium, the Boise on The Square Mall, and go Downtown for a meal in the Basque District.

The aquarium was crawling with kids.  Most of them were just adorable.  Being the mom/teacher type, there were a few that I had to set straight.  "Please don't poke the Iguana."  "Could you put those snails back in their tank?"

There were a few that I had some great conversations with on "What exactly DOES a stingray feel like?"  A young lady and I decided it was a mix of rubber and soft silky fur.  Whatever it was like, it was way cool.

I went in the bird cage and fed some.  I can't remember the type, but the lady said they were basically Australian Pigeons.  She said that they are considered pests there.  They were pretty though.  I have some pics on my phone that I'll upload when I get home.

Walked around the Mall, and didn't buy a dang thing.  Must be sick.

Got downtown where the most difficult thing was finding a parking garage that wasn't full.  I did find one though, right by the off ramp, so it was easy to find on my way back.

With my trusty phone by my side, I ventured to the Basque District and had a very nice Kobe Beef  sandwich.  I tried a watermelon beer (a small one, I was driving) and it was so refreshing.

That was a lot of walking.  Back at the hotel now, listening to a three piece combo playing jazz/blues/easy listening.  One female and one male singer.  I was at the patio bar, but it got horribly windy so I moved to my balcony at the room.

Now to just settle in and relax.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Garden Shopping!

My husband and I had a really nice day.  We went to Patt's Garden Center in Clarkston and spent too much money.  Went out to a nice lunch at Roosters, a restaurant overlooking the Snake River.

I bought two of those new grafted tomatoes - I'll be reporting on how they do compared to regular ones.  I hope they out perform them considering they were pretty pricey.

There will be a blueberry bush "Pink Lemonade" at the entrance to the garden.  Inside the fence of course.

I've been taking lots of pictures lately, so I'll just put a few here.

Markers of some of the annuals I bought:

The haul minus the blueberry bush.

Some of them potted up and placed.  The succulent bowl is repeats from last year stolen from various places in my yard.

There's a Rottweiler in my yard!  This is what she looks like when she's going full blast in her circle around the yard.  Those are snow pea seedlings in the raised bed.  Lupine, Garlic and Hollyhock to the far left.

And in Repose:

And that makes a perfect day for me.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Great weekend finishing with a Lazy Sunday

I shot some sports today, then came home and did some serious playing in the dirt.

Actually, it was more like playing in the dust.  I finally got all of my chipping and shredding done after the game.  Looks a lot nicer out there without all the piles and debri.  They are all nice and neat in their black composters.

When I came in, I was filthy.  Took a nice long shower since I was not fighting anyone for the bathroom. (You know who you are.)

The plant that tried to take over the world has been thwarted by newspaper and top soil.  There is some here and there that I couldn't do that with.  I'll just have to pull those by hand.

I'll have to go to Garden Web to look up what it is.  I asked last year and got an answer but of course never wrote it down here.  That is a great site by the way.

My next door neighbor's rose bushes died from being browsed by deer.  Dear Neighbor happens to live on the Deer Highway.  For some reason, they always take her garden to come down from the hill to the street.  There are plenty of other yards not fenced, so it's a mystery why they picked that spot. Having a big emplty spot, she asked me to look up some sort of prickly plant to put in it's place.  (ooohhhh, illiteration, my fave).

I chose a variety of barberry that is lime green.  I wish I could remember the name of the company, because the plants are minuscule.  They're putting on new growth and I'm happy about that.  They charged her more than $10 per plant that at a local place would have been a gallon specimen.  Locally, you can't get the variety that online offers though.  It's a trade off.  As long as I can get them to live through the summer they should be OK.

What's blooming:
Iris, Snow in Summer, Chives, Wigelia

What's fading:
Lilac, Tree Peony

What's done:
Laurel, Forget-Me-Nots (a wild sort), Forsythia.

What's always in bloom around here:
Sofie and Penny!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the 4th Be With You!!!

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Back to my regular programming:

What a busy day yesterday!  A teen came out and pulled grass for me and moved piles of debri that I created over a week or two.  I have a motto.  "I make the piles, someone else moves the piles."  Now that I don't have teens of my own, that may have to change.

I had a a bunch of plastic pots of varying colors and textures that didn't really go together.  So I bought some spray paint and got to work.

All lined up waiting for flowers.  I need to figure out the kind of look I want this year.  I want to change it up and make it look really different.

Here's a shot of the early Spring garden.

I found this planter at Home Depot and thought it would look nice with the other pots.  It fits this spot perfectly.  I usually put my fish planter there, but like I said, I wanted to change things up a little. this year.

In a little bit, I'll be going out front to pull some more weeds.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Wonderful Gardening Day!

All around, a great Sunday.

Sofie and Penny were nice enough to let me sleep until 6am - that's good.  Got up and had some coffee, read the paper, played my silly Facebook games.

Kermit got up later and I made a decent breakfast.  Bacon of course, toast, and some simple over easy eggs.  But it was yummy.

Then outside for some serious work.  Dug out the rest of the very large garlic.  I think it's elephant garlic, but I'm not sure.  I will pile it up on the hill, and it will grow.

Weeded some, and of course it is not a gardening day if I don't 
Move. Some. Rocks.

I don't know why I keep moving rocks, but it seems to be a favorite activity.  I had a teen move them down to the lower yard from the hill thinking I was going to build one of my walls.  That did not work out so I had to buy wall block.    As I look around, I believe, truly believe I will not be moving rocks down into the lower yard again.  I cannot say the same for the hill.  I see rock moving there.

So the natural rock had to be moved.  I was not going to move them back up the hill.  So I made some pockets for my neighbor, and some for me, and gave the rest of the rock away to another neighbor.

Kermit is at this moment working on the block wall.  He's really good at it. I'll find some old pics of the spot later, and post some before and after when it's all done.

In Other Gardening News

The last two years I had this plant show up in my yard.  It looked bamboo-ish, and I let it go.  Holy Guacamole that was a bad move.  I tilled that bed this year, and a bazillion of the seedlings came up.  After talking to the My Smart Puppy Brain Trust I tried the following.

First I tilled it again.  Then I put down newspapers and cut up grocery bags.  Kermit went and got me some top soil for on top if it.  Hope this works because I don't ever want to see that plant again.  The topsoil was pricey at over $2 a cubic foot.  It turned out to be a much higher quality than the normal stuff I've seen sold as top soil.  It had manure, dirt, and bark in it.  I've seen "topsoil" that was pretty bad clay stuff.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Spring Seed Inventory

Today was the most dangerous day for a gardener.

Warm enough to be REAL NICE, but if you plant anything, it will die...

Don't do it!

So instead, here is a Spring Seed Inventory in honor of the days to come!

Leaf Lettuce Mix
Sparkler Radish
Spinach - Italian Choice
Snow Peas
Sweet Peas
Another Leaf Lettuce Sampler

Things I need to get:

More radish

I have a separate stash of summer seeds, so I'll do that some other day.

I did check on the plants I tried to overwinter under cloth.  The sword-type annual did GREAT.  The misc yellow plant died.  The brughesia(sic) died.  Water bamboo is sending up new growth.

All of the succulents that I buried in bunny shavings are doing quite nice.  I could probably heel those in out of the pot and they would do great, then I could repot in new formations.  Think I'll do that when I can put the pots out.

Hubby took the heater out of the pond - don't want the Koi to get too active too early.

The first Robins of the season have visited the shores of our oasis already.  The Juncos have been QUITE the little bathers already.  They must be smarter than finches.  I always find dead finches in the pond every year.  Never Robins, Juncos, or any other kind of bird.

Sofie watched a squirrel go around our yard several times on our fence.  That was entertaining for her and me.

Now I will leave you with a picture from LAST SPRING.  May the days keep growing longer!

Smell the Spring!