Monday, July 19, 2021

Boo-kays and Summer Days

Last week was my 26th wedding anniversary. My husband, at 86, sometimes just doesn't care, and doesn't want to care, about festive times! Especially anniversaries. So this year, I decided to remember it myself. 

There is nothing I like better than a homemade bouquet. After work, I stopped by an old abandoned adobe house and got some coral vine and some silver lace vine...tsk tsk, trespassing...into my best plastic pitcher they went...

I love the old-timey the vines that covered the shed at Granny's house...she had Spanish Flag vines, too...I haven't seen seeds for them in a few years. Then it was time for a trip to the community garden, to see what was blooming in my plot! 

A sweet scurrying friend stopped by to wish me "Happy Anniversary." He was heading for the safety of the Jerusalem Artichoke patch of the plot next to mine. I'm wondering how those are harvested. I guess they are dug up, like a potato?

The sunflowers were so pretty. I love the tissue-paper look of the petals against the sun.

There was a single zinnia blooming, and I snipped it. Back to the house, and a few flowers were cut from the courtyard. My faithful Sand Verbena always has a few bright blooms!

And there was one of the last glads, too...

I must have chocolate for my "party!" So I took off again and got some chocolate-covered walnuts from the grocery store. The bulk food aisles are DANGEROUS, don't ya think? All that yummy candy...bin after bin...but I felt the walnut part would cancel out the chocolate part, and overall it might could be considered a healthy food that way...? They say to eat more nuts!

I will admit, there was a piece of cake involved, too. But I ate it right up, no photograph first! In my defense, it was a very nice piece of a grocery store carrot cake, sold by the slice, and I so rarely can have cake.

(Don't worry about hubby! He was fed and watered, too. I brought him some takeout he likes.)

It was getting dark by now, and rain had rolled in. I guess it happens quickly all over the globe, but in the desert, sometimes it seems to happen in an instant: Blue sky, sun beating down, then the sound of wind as the clouds rush over and climb the mountains. The rain made the evening feel so cozy! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the rain!

The fairy light jars blinked on...I don't know why, but every night that makes me feel so happy...

The doggies had to get something, too! They needed a "party favor" and seemed to like their "chews." These are the specially treated American rawhides that are more tender than the usual rawhides. I don't know, I read on the internet that rawhides are bad, but our vets have felt these kinds are okay. I don't let them chew it down very far.

And there you have it.
Homemade fun is the best!

I hope your summer days are going well, too, as we head towards those tough Dog Days of August!

Kind regards,

Olde Dame Holly

Friday, July 9, 2021

I Heard A Caterpillar Chewing

Howdy there! I'm "glad" you're here!

Happy summer's day, my bloggie frens! I went out into the courtyard this morning, coffee cup in hand, to look around, sweep, and just enjoy. The pups especially love going with me, so it is our new routine. We used to go to the back patio first. Now that's second. 

pretty blue and red flowers

Old, new, borrowed, blue!

A big bush squash of some type is growing in one of the fire-rings! It has silvery leaves. That is some lemongrass in there, too.

The doggies are so good about staying inside the gate, which they can squeeze through. I just say, "Enh-enh-enh, no-no!" and they stay inbounds!

doggies at the courtyard gate looking out

Catmint! Growing well now.

Looking up the courtyard towards the circle driveway. I love the little circle drive because I hate backing up! 

One of the first things I saw this morning was that my orange mint was quite raggedy, with many a bite out of its leaves! I put the coffee down and started looking closely at the clump of mint, trying to spot the caterpillars. I was having no luck, and that's when I heard it.

mint eaten by caterpillars

Crunch -- crunch -- CRUNCH! I could hear the caterpillars as they took each bite! And I could just listen a bit, and know where they were! It was quite noisy at first, and then as each was found and relocated, it got quieter, until I could hear no more bites being taken. It was a plucking sound, a snap and a crunch kind of sound.

I Spy...a little minty caterpillar!

As I picked the stems they were on, immediately they would go into their defensive posture, designed to scare predators, I guess. They rear up, Caterpillar Rampant. Poor things, just an inch or so long, and trying to scare me (it worked; I frequently shrieked). I don't want to kill them, because I am just worn out with all the death and misery on the news. I don't want any carnage in my own courtyard. But I worry that by moving them, even with a goodly supply of plucked mint (and basil, which they were also eating but less heartily), I might be sentencing them to death. 

I love the little canning jars with the solar fairy lights in them. I have two hanging on the gate, two hanging off a pine near the street so the walkers can enjoy.

The sun is bleaching the pink color of this jar!

My husband says he thinks they will inch right back over and get on the mint again, anyway. I put them about four feet from the mint. I will have to go "listen" for them later, and see if they did find their way back to the caterpillar salad bar. I will let them stay if they come back. Mint has good regenerative powers even eaten to the ground.

The sedum is coming along. It was just a little stem I planted this spring.

My winecup blooming again after the rains, against a pretty silvery neighbor.

I do not know what kind of squash I planted. Or if it's a bush pumpkin. We will find out, I hope!

Any pests over your way? Weekend plans? 

Kind regards,

Olde Dame Holly

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Flower "Fireworks" and Some Actual Ones!

Hello Bloggie Frens...and Happy Independence Day!

My tiny crop of striped and bright zinnia blooms are the garden "fireworks." Pop, pop, pop -- pops of color that I hope you will enjoy seeing! The photos don't do them justice! They are so bright!

zinnia striped dotted dashed

magenta zinnia bloom

peppermint zinnia

huge zinnias bright petals

And below is nature's "Cherry Bomb" - a big burst of flavor, for sure! I handed all the other ripe ones through the fence to some picnickers who had been admiring them! 

single cherry tomato

And sadly, there were no Friendship Pagodas, which I always miscall as Happiness Pagodas, in our firework stands. I walked into three different stands but...did not find any. Something fun was that one of the stands was owned by an older lady, like me! And she suddenly remembered them and looked them up on her iPad thingie and said she will order some for New Years! 

TNT fireworks hen and rooster fireworks

But I did find something interesting, as you can see above, and I will probably remove and throw away the fireworks part and just leave the cardboard, because I am like these fireworks - a big chicken when it comes to the POPS and BOOMS! Defused, these will go on top of one of my Mexican primitive cupboards.

Lastly, here is a lil' video of my fireworks "haul." The "crackling balls" are going to be given to the teens across the street, who love to light fireworks, as they don't exactly "crackle" but rather POP! I lighted one after the video and it was so loud that both my dear chiweenie and I cowered.

I will be lighting the smoke balls and smoke bombs tomorrow to celebrate, and as always, I have my "Freedom Fire" going in the firepit in the back yard. I go poke it up and keep it going all night, so that at least in my yard, the fires of freedom glow and shine! 

I have been around the blogs today finally, and have seen a lot of lovely patriotic and interesting posts! So much beauty, so much heart, in this renaissance of the Blogosphere! Hip-Hip-Hooray! Although, I was sad to see a blogger I admire taking a month off! But -- that's how it goes. 

And although I don't cotton to hymns being sung, as I have a terrible voice and a tin ear, I have been walking around singing "Yes, We Have No Bananas" for several days, and as much of "It's A Grand Old Flag" as I can remember, although sometimes I get the Mad Magazine version popping up in there, after fifty years! The Fourth just brings "forth" light-hearted summer songs!

If you are having a bleak day, sing "Yes, We Have No Bananas" and see if it takes some of the doldrums away! We had a real-life version of this, after asking at a restaurant if they had a certain dish: "Si, tenemos, pero no hay." Which is: Yes, we have it, but there isn't any. Oh, we laughed and laughed. It makes sense while not making sense. 

Plans for the Fourth? As always, I cherish any comments you share! 

Kind regards,

Olde Dame Holly