Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ever need a laugh?

Here's where I can always count on one. This is the blog of a Black Cat in Lower Manhattan whose name is Don Estorbo della Bodega Dominicana.

This entry is particularly notable. For those who don't speak Cat, Don Estobo is saying "This is a good example of Buddhism: rejected comfort."

Summer Solstice on the Delaware Shore.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Surprise radish. Found behind a nasturtium. I didn't plant radishes this year. THAT'S what was popping up all over my garden and got weeded away.

Hungarian hot wax peppers.

Evidence of how cheap and lazy I am. My most comfortable gardening shoes.

I'm worse than the hunter in the movie "Bambi."

I hadn't seen the fawn since Sunday. On Thursday I was poking around at the back of my yard, and was surprised to flush out Bambi. She was inside my deer-proof fence! No mom in sight. She panicked and tried to knock down the fence and eventually either slithered out under a place where I didn't have the mesh firmly staked to the ground, OR she went through the carport to escape. I didn't see the actual moment of escape because I was also panicked. A few minutes later a grown deer came by and the fawn started to approach her, but they soon parted and the fawn trotted toward me! Poor thing. Thinking I could help her maybe. Eventually she wandered off. Later in the day I saw what might have been mom and the now-almost-grown 1-yr-old twins but no fawn. I've read that I should do nothing. No trying to feed the fawn, no trying to catch her if I see her. But I don't know how long she was trapped in my back yard --- seems unlikely that it was more than 24 hrs. I've read that even at these young ages the mom will leave the fawn for hours at a time. Supposedly, the mom can smell her way back to the fawn. But I'm very pessimistic. I messed with mother nature by putting up that fence. I feel like a fawn-killer. Reports as or if they become available.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blogs come and blogs go. (First tomato!)

Interesting article about blogging.
"According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled."

This is very tempting, but I think I have to boycott it on grammatical grounds. "Historical"???

Pretty! I wonder what he is?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Can this poor azalea be saved? It belongs to a friend and I was asked to help.

This is one of those azaleas sold as an indoor plant, or maybe a "patio" plant. I'll give it TLC but I don't have much hope. I DO have some hope for our health care system, however. All it would take is for everyone in the country to read this article and then all the policy-makers should act upon the obvious (to me) solutions spelled out in the article. I may be able to sum it up in one sentence: Our health care system is f'd up because too many doctors have become businesspeople and are no longer physicians (defined as "people skilled in the art of healing"). Combining the desire to make big bucks with the availability of expensive imaging tests was too much for the system to bear. We don't need to socialize medicine but maybe we should draft all new physicians, pay off their medical school bills, make them federal employees on a fixed salary with a decent retirement package, and tell them to practice medicine and forget about becoming multimillionaires.


Rust dyed fabric. I feel an obsession coming on.

Image from:

Rust dyeing:
by Kimberly Baxter Packwood © 2001 (

Rust dyeing is a surface design method that adds dimension to your fabrics and fibers. I use the technique predominately on cotton or silk fabrics. Natural fibers take the rust colors better than synthetic fibers.

You can place rusty objects next to wet fabric and acquire rust patterning over time. However, vinegar will speed up the rusting process, it aids in breaking the rust particles free from the object that is rusting. Rusting occurs normally due to oxidation, i.e. contact with the air. Be patient. Rust dyeing with water takes about a week. Using vinegar produces color in less time usually twenty-four hours.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The two halves of my vegetable garden. (It has lots of flowers too so it's not just for veggies.)

No plan! Just spur of the moment seeds and plants plopped wherever. Next year I want to devote about 1/4 of this space to peas alone.

Astilbe. A perfect flower.

Mulberries get a bad rap. I like them even more than blackberries. But not as much as raspberries.

Tchotchke Challenge entry for the Letter K. My Kinky Friedman action figure!

I've been waiting since the birth of the Tchotchke Challenge to get to the Letter K.

His batteries are dead but he used to say things like "May the God of your choice bless you." And "Hell yes, it's a Cuban cigar. But I'm not supporting their economy. I'm burning their fields."

I think of this as absolutely my most useless possession, and one that I paid good money for just because it made me laugh. (And this may be an example of why our economy has been jolted...because people like me buy -- or used to buy and now don't -- so much crap like this.)

Tchotchke challenge rules: On the first and fifteenth of each month, or thereabouts, I* post a picture of a tchotchke or tchotchkes beginning, roughly speaking, with that letter. For no reason at all.

*Other challengers include Nyack Lady and Chesapeake Bay Lady. All are welcome to join.

Several mistakes in one place.

First, each year I trust that the deer will ignore these purple-flowered perennials (Veronica speedwell I think) until they've fully bloomed. The deer love the new shoots but generally don't eat the full flowers until late in the year. In this sad example, you can see where they long ago ate all the front shoots (along the lower edge of the photo) but they missed a few buds hidden in the butterfly bush, which is planted way too close to the speedwell (mistake No. 2). So I guess that design mistake led me to have a few blooms. The only solution is to fence off all the front yard beds but I just don't want to do that. Stubborn. Other mistakes involve mulch, other plants, etc.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seeing Dave Brubeck tonight at the Warner Theater in DC!

From wikipedia:
After graduating in 1942, Brubeck was drafted into the army and served overseas in George Patton's Third Army. He was spared from service in the Battle of the Bulge when he volunteered to play piano at a Red Cross show; he was such a hit he was ordered to form a band.

Brubeck is now 88 years old. I saw him once before, at the Carter Barron Amphitheater in DC in the mid-60s (the mid-1960s that is, not HIS mid-60s, and I can still say not in MY mid-60s cause I ain't there yet but it's approaching way too fast). I was still in high school and I went with my next door neighbor. My first serious date I guess you'd say. (What was his name??) The Warner Theater is my favorite DC music venue --- over the years I've gone there to see Bonnie Raitt, the late, great Root Boy Slim, Jimmy Clift, Keith Jarrett, and Tom Waits.

Next year more nicotiana. Lots more. It likes shade and the color is super saturated red, my favorite.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jugs, jams, and jellies. My J entry in the alive-and-well Tchotchke Challenge.

These dusty jugs and jars will last a long, long time, but how long will these dusty jams and jellies last? All of the jams were gifts, some are home-made. I feel so guilty for not eating them. But the only way to eat jam is on a piece of bread slathered with butter. That's a lot of calories to eat jam. (Isn't "slather" a great word?)
The "I" letter report is now in from the Chesapeake Bay front and it's a good one. I love her sense of humor; it's slightly askew. (Another great word..."askew.")

Friday, June 5, 2009

My giant {update... mullein} were about to bloom before we got yet another 40 days & nights of rain. Maybe this weekend they'll perk back up.

Spotted in the parking lot of my library yesterday at about 3:30.

I should say "no comment" but my comment is "such bloody images!" I think I'll stick to my current religious preference: pantheism. With a minor in buddhism. And a dash of yoga (which isn't a religion I know but so what).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hi Mom!

I mentioned this petunia last July. My mother bought some petunias in the summer of 1996 and put them in this planter on her deck. She died the following March. The planter stayed in precisely the same place on that deck until my dad died in 2005. The planter then came to my house and has been sitting in the same spot since then. The soil has never been turned. Once a year or so I add a bit of new good soil to the top layer. It blooms every year. It's my mom saying hi.

Unidentified mushroom. My niece and nephew (in-law??) have told me how to raise mushrooms and it seems so easy. Involves logs and spores and time.

Sleeping about 25 feet from my back fence. I just know she's pregnant. So sleepy she didn't even raise her head when I walked up to take her pix.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Barack O at 18.

I was supposed to post a "J" tchotchke yesterday, June 1, but didn't. Tomorrow. Probably.

From many yrs' experience with that box on the right with the bugle I can attest to the truth in this funny/sad cartoon.

My liatris has 17 blooms! If it gets by the next few days I'll feel better.

Even though the flowers and foliage of liatris are generally deer resistant, you just never know when the damn deer will take a bite or two just to be sure. Speaking of the "damn deer,"I know the main doe is hiding her baby deer nearby and will bring him or her (or them!) out soon. Her twins from last year have been behind the house but not mama... Very exciting. I call them damn deer but I would miss them if they left. Last night they ate some of my speedwell (Veronica spicata)! Bastards. They waited until just after the tender pretty purple shoots had started to appear and then "snap" -- off with their heads.