Monday, March 31, 2008

Busy Work

It felt like a three-day weekend!

Housework is not my favorite, but it felt wonderful to do a little Spring cleaning. On the other hand, I really really really enjoy doing the laundry and am usually pretty anal about it. So what happened? Sheets/whites/delicates still sitting in the laundry basket, clean but unfolded. Just thinking 'bout it is making me twitchy and I'm working hard to keep typing instead of jumping up and running straight to the laundry basket. (Breathe deeply and relax)

We did make our appointed rounds of the local garden shops but the damage wasn't too bad considering my attitude starting out.

  • Violas in four different color combinations (violas are little relatives of pansies)
  • A red columbine (my favorite flower)
  • Sea pinks aka thrift, found in a Pony Pak
  • French lavender
  • An Oranges-and-Lemons rose

Of course, there is still a visit to The Garden Shop on the horizon, but I have a gift certificate that I need to use.

I may not like housework, but I adore yardwork! The leaves are all raked (I'm not a slacker. I'm a pin oak owner. Pin oaks lose their leaves in Spring. But that's another story.) And I improved my attitude immensely by knocking apart the last of the trash can enclosure 'cause deconstruction just feels good and I have another three feet of usable vegetable garden now. I had so much fun that the wind chill didn't seem to matter much at all.

The laundry might need folding and I don't have a single photo to show you, but my garden looks well-tended and ready for a load of compost and an orgy of flower planting and seed sowing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Plans

I have them.

They involve money. Large amounts of money. Okay, maybe not LARGE amounts, but still fairly profligate.

Yep, it's garden attack time. Spring fever has hit and it doesn't matter what the thermometer says or what the weather dishes out, I'm gonna be in my garden. And I'm gonna want new plants. (My name is pogonip and I'm a garden-aholic.)

This will be better than living in my kitchen. Because the frustrations of remodeling, decisions that didn't get made, trees that didn't get offed got to me today and I managed to put away an awesome amount of Reese's easter eggs, the end of the turkey jerky, several smokehouse almonds, and pure brown sugar. Then I dragged myself outside, grabbed a hammer and a pry bar and set out to achieve some soul-satisfying de-construction. It felt good. Much better than the Reese's even.

I now have a trash can filled with honeysuckle and old nails. I now have one less place for the mice to overwinter. I now have to figure out where I will put my garbage cans because their enclosure is history.

Tomorrow I shop. Seeds (50% off at Longs). Plants at Lowe's. Roses at Moana. Gift certificate to The Garden Shop.

I need compost. I need lavendar plants. I need pansies or violas.

I'm living in the future with a wealth of plans involving plants, sand, a zillion new bricks, a new patio area, benches and my usual garden version of musical chairs. And an irrigation system overhaul post-puppy. A new pond.

I'm living in the present as fast as I can because if the pruning doesn't happen this weekend I'm gonna be in big trouble with my fruit trees.

But I think I can slip in some shopping. I'm sure I can. And photos, lots of before-and-after photos.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Flip Side

To balance all the warm weather over Easter weekend, the temperatures dropped about ten degrees and the zephyrs began howling more than usual. They have ranged from hundred mile gusts over the mountain tops to easily sixty miles puffs around town.

I was dodging giant three foot tumbleweeds, blown from who knows where, during my drive home for lunch and doggy face time. Usually we just avoid potholes here during the Spring.

And to counteract all that flower power blooming in my yard, we had huge duststorms on the hillsides that experienced firestorms last summer. It breaks my heart to think of the exposed soil and ash from lovely large pine trees blowing into the atmosphere.

But...at least I can do something about that. I signed up to plant a grove of baby trees on the watershed and pledged to water them during the next two summers.

I will admit that I'm being self-serving. I hike in that area all summer anyway, so it's really no trouble to carry in some water and beautify my hike at the same time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Missing a Bunny Burrow

Chana, contact the mothership.

I've been reading the Bunny Burrow for way too long to have it go missing. I know it's there. But I've been 401'd.

401, when Googled, is geek-speak for "you need a password to log on to this site". I've been 401'd from many university or government logs when doing research. It's never bothered me, because I knew the information would be available elsewhere.

Other blogs have disappeared from my daily read over the years, like Toad Pizza and Rockstar Mommy. They've either needed more time for Real Life or Just Changed.

Was there a hovering threat over the Burrow? Was it general uneasiness about stranger danger in the blogosphere? I know life isn't always safe. I think bloggers are pretty brave to open themselves to the universe with their lives and thoughts. I'm always astonished at those with real names (well, I assume they're real names).

Bloggers become friends over the years. I love that geography and age don't seem to matter much. I've known many of you for years. You seem like valued neighbors. We've shared family joys, marriages, new babies, new puppies, vacations, remodeling projects, divorces, deaths, growing children, craft ideas, extended family and haircuts through our blogs and comments.

Chana, you're someone I don't want to lose track of. Your blog makes me happy! We have history, girlfriend. I'm hoping you'll drop by and see this post and want me back.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hippity-Hop

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!


The Easter Bunny must have felt right at home when he visited us. There were rabbits everywhere...outside hiding among the hyacinths,



and inside on the sofa, the mantle, the curio, and the windowsills!
(I made the two bunnies on the right.)

There were daffodils, forsythia and pansies blooming as well as primroses along the path. I always think the primroses look too perfect to be real.
Our table was set with a cheery yellow tablecloth, Grandma's crystal goblets and our blue wedding china that doesn't go well with Thanksgiving or Christmas colors, but is perfect for Easter! (Oh, is that a little Reese's Peanut Butter Cup that the Easter Bunny left? Mmmmm.)

Our centerpiece was my favorite Roseville vase filled with flowers--Grammy added some of her daffodils to make it look like Spring.

We had a very nice leg of lamb for dinner, but somehow it was the rhubarb cobbler that caught the photographer's eye. Maybe it was the turbinado sugar sprinkles that gave it a gourmet look.
The puppies feasted on lamb leftovers; but that's another story...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Eth-ter (almost)

So...if it's a holiday, then my grocery store must be remodelling. Honestly, they remodelled during the Christmas craziness. This last Christmas. Apparently that wasn't good enough, because they're at it again for Easter.

Because nothing says holiday cheer like a trip into a grocery store where you must navigate each and every aisle before you can check everything off your seasonally extra-long and unusual shopping list. Well, check off most of the list--I came home without Knudsen's Sparkling Pear Juice.

They've even created a few aisles that didn't exist previously and I can guarantee that if you can't find something, said item will be located in one of the new aisles, but only after you've fruitlessly cruised all the regular aisles twice. The exception being the Knudsen's (of course).

Rumor has it (and I'm hoping this is entirely false) that they are planning to move part of the parking lot and install an outdoor dining area. They may be hoping that their customers who ordinarily visit for thirty minutes right smack dab in the busiest aisles (Who...me?) will relocate outside. I can assure them that this will not happen.

Haven't they heard that the parking lot is the thing we love best about them. I know, it sounds weird...but honestly their handy-dandy super-convenient parking lot is fairly unique. It works so well, that I always wonder why other supermarkets don't follow suit. And now they might change it???

I'll willingly spend an extra ten minutes searching out brown sugar, cough syrup and vermicelli because I know eventually I'll have the place memorized again when the remodelling is over. But please don't mess with the parking lot. I promise I'll reduce my chats no more than five minutes and only in aisles that are not busy (dog food, paper goods, greeting cards). Pretty please? With chocolate bunnies on it?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring!!!!!

It's official! Winter is over! Three cheers for Springtime!

Snippets:
  • Why is it that I need a vacation to recover from my vacation??
  • We had "yeprichauns" visit the kindergarten classroom!
  • I have actual flowers, numerous types, blooming in my yard--eat your heart out!
  • I'm about to find out how much it costs to take out our twenty-year old pin oak--to prepare for the estimate without incurring cardiac arrythmia I'm currently poking my finger into a light socket and then sticking pins in my flesh.
  • Working on the principle that there is a silver lining to everything, I'll calculate how much a cord of seasoned oak firewood costs.
  • I have zero bunnies decorating my house and Easter is in three days.
  • Using the it-could-be-worse syndrome, this is what the real-life bunnies did in my son's garden


The dark shadow is all that remains of the $10 artemesia I had planted. Note the fresh artemesia leaves scattered about--someone needs to tell the bunnies about the starving hares in China. Bad enough they ate the plant, worse that they wasted the leaves! I know it's almost Easter and all, but darn it! where are those coyotes when you need them.

Okay, off to use the extra hour of daylight (love it, love it, love it!) and make my house look like Easter.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Almost Pogonip


Spring Break was too early this year. I thought so earlier, but forgot while reveling in the joy of warm New Mexico gardening weather.

The wake-up call came this morning. Snow... in Arizona...near Las Vegas. (!) Snow that stuck to every branch and twig and cactus needle. Gorgeous, even if not quite up to pogonip standards. I wanted to stop and take a close-up of the amazing beauty of a desert snowfall, but three inches of this snow also stuck to the highway.

A highway filled with insane RV drivers hauling trailers and little cars who passed us at unsafe speeds, spattering an avalanche of snow onto our windshield to blind us for ten endless seconds until we could react and increase the wiper speed to hyperdrive. Okay, so it was just one RV driver, and we were lucky to be on a straight stretch of road and everyone behind us had already been blinded and was driving slowly. It could have been much worse than merely scary. My little guardian angel charm swinging from the rear view mirror was working overtime for us.

A week's vacation definitely relaxed me because I refrained from rolling down my window and letting a small birdie take flight when we passed him later. You may now refer to me as St. Pogonip if you wish.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Plants, Plants, and More Plants

We've been on a buying binge for Pierre's backyard, front yard and sideyards. (Why is backyard and sideyard just one word and front yard two??)

We are in a very water-conscious part of the country. Water-conscious as in if you use more water then they charge you a higher rate and if you use too much water then they fine you, but if you use a minimum of water then they give it to you at a bargain rate. I think it's a very civilized way to operate. No need for draconian laws or the water police, just a nice monetary carrot-and-stick system.

Anyway, that was a long-winded way of saying that we are buying native plants mostly, along with some that are water thrifty.

I've been learning a lot. My gardening style is pretty much inprove the soil as much as possible, plant anything that will survive the winters and water the heck out of it. Not very responsible, but then, gardening is more than a hobby, it's a passion of mine and I'm quite willing to do whatever it takes to maintain my English-cottage-garden-meets-the-High-Desert.

But buffalo grass and blue grama have entered my vocabulary. I can tell you the difference between chitalpa and chilopsis. I've learned to transplant the native yuccas. I've even become convinced that it's not always necessary to amend his soil with compost, but I still am into mulching with the zillions of extra stones that are lying around.

Besides getting a small part of his front yard ready for a future buffalo-grama lawn/meadow (which needs mowing only three times per year and uses less than a quarter of the water of my tall fescue at home), we've also put in a nifty dry streambed using his ubiquitous native rock and planted an aspen grove around it. There's my favorite sagebrush, although it's fancified into "artemesia powis castle" and the first conifer (fresh off the highlands of Afghanistan and reputed to grow fast on little water).

The most fun has been watching Pierre operate the little Bobcat, delicately, precisely, and with a little sense of humor when his parents jump out of the way when he creeps up on us. Yeah, I know, your're thinking how could be possibly creep up in a large diesel machine. We are intent on a quick grab for a large rock or to move something , and I love the mischievous smile when he sees us jump. I really hope I can get him on video using his little toy on loan from Deni's dad. It's been even more fun because the Bobcat has allowed us to finish grading the backyard so that it looks like a yard instead of a wilderness and finish grading the front yard streambed and terrace the "meadow".

Still, we were happy to stop and buy plants today instead of working non-stop till we dropped.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Where in the World Is Kharma Sandiego?

Let's see...we passed ghost towns and the Burro Inn, we changed time zones at Hoover Dam and checked progress on the new bypass highway they are constructing over the Colorado.

Kharma barked at the homeless backpacker in Kingman while she guarded her lunch. Arizona provided lots of rain, as usual. We talked of a possible petrified wood hunt on the way home, since my sweetie had great success in this area when he was young. Note to self: internet search on the area to see where to hunt.

Evening found us pulling into Pierre's driveway for a hearty salmon dinner in the Land of Enchantment. I have to admit that I'm more enchanted every time I come.

The front yard is our project this time and we've spent quite a bit of time already at the nurseries and home improvement centers. That's becoming a tradition! It's so wonderful to see flowers!!! Spring here is as fun as spring in the Basin and Range.

We've acquired chilopsis, chitalpa, lilac, forsythia, smoke tree, silk tree, agave, artemesia and trumpet vine so far. We are set to dig holes and move rocks the easy way--Deni's dad is gonna bring his Bobcat by for us to play with this week. Pierre is jumping up and down inside at the prospect of playing with a new toy!

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to play I go...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Kinder Speak

Truth is powerful.

Announced today in kindergarten--

Allie: Tami is coming over to my house for a playdate. My mom is going to let us Do Anything We Want!! (Pause) As long as it doesn't involve sharp objects.

I'm pondering what the previous playdates might have involved.
*****
Also, we learned that dumping a whole can of fish food into the aquarium for the Really Big Fish that lives in the forty-gallon tank doesn't make your mom happy.

I never would have guessed.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pounce

Puppies are irresistible. But did you know that they get cuter as they get older? Zelda may not be quite as little and fluffy as she was a few weeks back, but she more than makes up for it with her behavior's increased cute factor.

I just love to watch Zelda play with Kharma.
Is her Big Bad Pounce sweet and goofy beyond belief?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Blue

There are blue ribbons everywhere. On traffic lights, chain link fences, trees, stop signs, cars, overpasses. Fluttering in the Spring breezes, flapping in the storm gusts, reminding us of Bri with every movement.

Blue was her favorite color and we put the ribbons up while the community was hoping to find her. We put them up, praying that there would be a happy ending, knowing that there probably wouldn't be. Her life, much too brief, was ended too soon.

I cannot even begin to imagine how her mother feels. I know the thoughts that haunt me as I walk by the signs that begged, "Bring Bri Back" and now ask, "Bring Bri Justice." I look at those blue ribbons everywhere and hope that the scum that took Bri sees them and realizes his days are numbered.

We are looking. We are watching. Every man is scrutinized, measured, judged. We are watching. He can try to hide. He can try to run away. But he cannot escape. We are watching.

I pray that justice catches up with him.