Posts Tagged ‘Sunday’

The heat and the need to study are keeping me out of the garden today. I’m ok with that. There is a HUGE new vocabulary to learn for class and most of the outdoor plants don’t need anything but water right now. So, as I head off into a cool part of the house to learn about the chemical bonding habits of hydrogen molecules and why that matters to plants, I will leave you with a butterfly I met at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco when we were up there last month to visit Terri and Emily. Happy Sunday!

meet the Tiger Longwing Butterfly (Heliconius hecale)

I got to looking at the photo and noticed how well I could see the proboscis, which is a straw-like mouth, curled up and quite visible. It’s hard to get that in a butterfly photo since they usually flutter off when you approach. So, I enlarged the photo – I think this is a pretty awesome picture of a butterfly and she looks quite lovely against her green background:

...this one sat still for an entire photo shoot!


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Lazy Sunday

Today, I’m going to honor my lazy bone. Sometimes you just have to take a day and do nothing, to melt into yourself and emerge later as something new, something fresh. Or perhaps just something that looks rested. Happy Lazy Sunday, and to all the awesome Dads who never get enough credit and who suffer through ill fitting boxer and hideous neck tie gifts, Happy Father’s Day! Go take a Dad-nap!

Segundo, King of Cat Naps

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Hello and Happy Sunday! I’m celebrating extra today because school’s out for summer! Thursday was my last day of class until fall and I couldn’t be happier. Not that I won’t miss school, because I know I will. Happy because I did so well in botany. Yep – I totally kicked ass! When I started back to school, when was it – almost three years ago? – I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, but botany was there over my head in flashing chlorophyll-colored neon lights. It was fun to say and fun to think about. Really, I didn’t quite know what it all meant and what would be involved and which road I had to take to get there. Options were left wide open so I didn’t get my hopes up for something I couldn’t handle, namely science. Safe, reserved, lacking in self confidence, and feeling my lack of eduction in every fiber of my being…tentative. I already knew I loved plants, but what if I didn’t love the science part, which is the whole point of botany? Thankfully this class was not difficult, it was an introductory class that focused on the way humans have used plants and why we couldn’t live without them. The science was fairly straightforward and spread out over the semester so it could be digested, but the big picture, our relationship with plants and how they drive our lives, was UH-MAY-ZING. Somewhere along the line when I wasn’t even looking, I fell in love with science, biology, and totally serious botany. I cannot wait to get more. MORE!

When I got home from the last class, Tom had a bottle of bubbly waiting to toast. Afterward, I took my glass of Champagne happiness outside for a walk around my beloved garden, to cry like a baby (I do that when I’m proud of myself) and to let my new reality sink in, taking photos along the way so I could see what had been going on in my near-complete absence. The tour was wooly to say the least, with everything overgrown in the wildest way. So much so that I’m inspired to re-read “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett this summer. You can’t really tell the plants apart because they’re growing into each other, but at least they’re healthy. Each corner needs some of my loving attention, and with these photos I’ll plan out my summer in the garden.

Hollyhocks on the West side of the house...a bit slow this year but still alive.

Under the Lemon tree - the Roses have taken over. Who knows what else is there...

Leeks, Nasturtium, Swiss Chard, Borage, Grass, Weeds....can't even see the nifty border I had put in to separate the garden from the lawn.

Peas, Purple Beans, a volunteer Rose...this space will be cleared for tomatoes soon as I can get to it.

One Large Empty Pot...well, except for the grass that took over - nature abhors a vacuum and she will plant grass wherever there's one in the garden! Whatever shall I plant here?

The Wisteria - badly in need of trellising - and a sunny chair with my name on it.

my Schefflera is so root-bound it makes me claustrophobic. It's ability to hang in there means it gets the first of all my future transplanting efforts. This is no way to treat a 'money plant!'

East side of the house - where the wild things are. Honestly, I don't know what lives back here any more, but I'm sure I'll have a lovely time finding out!

my 'little' herb garden has become too bushy...there's a huge statue there and you can't even see her! also a wooly apple tree at the end of the row, which looks more like an apple bush.

Had an ugly yucca-type thing dug out here. We're letting the Earth rest before replanting...with who knows what.

Nasturtiums took over the "Iron Butterfly" and the Hummingbirds love it! Somewhere under all the Fennel herb, there's a Hydrangea trying to bloom, and hopefully some Cilantro.

Where in the world is Guatama Buddha? Somewhere under the fig tree covered in grass. I'll bet he doesn't mind though.

There are at least 20 different species of plant in this photo, all struggling for space and air and sun. Foxglove, Agapanthus, Daylillies, Evening Primrose, Fennel herb, etc...and one magnificent red velvet Amaryllis down at the end...

...red velvet Amaryllis rising up above a sea of wildness - I can't wait for the Grand Opening - stay tuned...

At one time this was the 'meditation circle/wedding chapel' and now it is a sea of nasturtiums giving way to a sea of grass. I can't wait to see what's under there. This is one of my top summer projects, starting from scratch and doing things a bit differently.

Grapes...definitely NOT vine-ing, mostly spreading out waving their little arms in the air like unruly children. Good for them, I say!

The door to the Secret Garden has grown most enticingly closed.

There is a path here, complete with stepping stones. Hmmm....

Matalija Poppies, Artichokes, Agapanthus, Passion Fruit, and one Pomegranate tree that might actually give fruit for the first time this summer - if I can find it! and what should I do with that old pipe structure?

Indoors - half of my former Orchid collection...the rest suffered neglect but I am impressed that any lived, so no sadness allowed!

Well, that’s the tour of the back garden. It’s amazing that I neglected it so much but it still looks like my familiar old garden, my faithful friend. I didn’t tour the front that day because I was in my pj’s five minutes after I got home from class. The Roses in front are thriving and the Avocado tree is fine if not hungry, the Lime and Mango trees need serious help and I can’t find the Asparagus under the Beans. Which translates into “all is well” despite the need for some serious Mama love – my kinda love. Maybe I’ll start today, maybe I’ll wait until I have a good long self-indulgent nap and another mimosa. Cheers!

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The title of today’s post makes me very very happy. I’m going to say it again: Spring Break. Ahhhhh. One whole week without classes coming right up! It took a lot to get here and it’s a Full Moon, so today I’m going to rest and roll around in thoughts of what I’ve managed to accomplish over the last little while and pat myself on the back. We should all do that more often you know? Go ahead, pat yourself on the back right now. You are awesome and you know it! If someone else pats you on the back, it’s a great feeling, but why the hell should we wait for that?!

Spring Peas - April 2011

There will be no starting of anything new either. The week ahead will be spent finishing the things I normally don’t have time for. Work is caught up, but I will have the opportunity to do those projects that seem to get put at the bottom of my in-box over and over, like balancing the bank statements and taking inventory of my supplies, cleaning up computer files and reorganizing property photos…sooooo much excitement! There are also some weird and time-consuming school projects and one humongous botany paper to write. Yes, it would be more fun to flake more over the coming week, maybe even leave town a couple days, but my plan is to have everything done that I can do so the rest of the semester goes easy and when it’s over I have a clean Summer Slate to work with. Yes, I am becoming more pragmatic with age. Sigh.

Glamour and Drama in the Swiss Chard patch - April 2011

It will not be all work though…Tom and I have already started to enjoy the extra time together starting with a fabulous lunch out on Friday. I even pulled out a pair of four inch Louboutins to wear. We always enjoy our lunch dates, but the extra glamour went a long way towards starting the break on a positive, mildly self-indulgent foot. πŸ™‚

Fresh Spring Strawberries - almost! April 2011

There has even been some gardening happening the last couple of days. Yay! My big red apple cookie jar is completely empty of seeds right now, which I believe has never happened. It got a good bath inside and out and all of the seeds except for a few odd ones have been planted. (By the time they sprout and get ready for permanent Earth homes, I will done with the semester) The last few remaining seeds will go in the dirt today to honor the Moon and I will not be buying any more for the rest of the year. The time has come to use what I have and clean out the potting shed of stuff I don’t use – I can hardly get in the door! It will be fun to see what germinates because most of these seeds are a bit aged. Some of them are even leftovers of envelopes that have not produced a single viable seed yet, Cantaloupes and Cucumbers among them.

Seed Inventory Day - January 2011

It always amuses me when that happens. Was there just a dysfunctional mother plant that put those seeds out? Most of the time it’s because they have been on the shelf too long and I always forget to check the date on the envelope. Perhaps that will be my nugget of advice for the day; always check for a ‘sell by’ or ‘use by’ date on your seed packages. They should be fresh and no more than a year old when you plant them. Yes, some seeds stay viable for much longer, but why take chances when they aren’t free? Also, I never buy seeds from outlet stores like “Big Lots” or odd stores like a drugstore where you normally wouldn’t buy seeds. If they are displayed in the direct Sun or outside, I don’t buy them either. In fact, I have discovered that seeds ordered online seem to be the most reliable in terms of germination. As far as storage goes, I’ve learned to keep mine in zip-lock baggies in my cookie jar or air tight glass jars, which I collect in every shape, color and size imaginable. They stay up on a shelf in my dark potting shed. It floods in the winter time, but my seeds stay dry and at a consistent temperature. Of course, the best place for a seed is in the Earth!

Boing! Grape vine tendrils....

So now I’m off to have breakfast with Tom and plan the rest of my day. It’s really a wonderful feeling to be able to take my time doing whatever it is I’m doing without feeling pressured to hurry up and finish so I can go do something else that needs doing. Ahhhhh. I can stop running now and enjoy the journey a little more, perhaps contemplate ‘things’ and ‘stuff.’ Contemplation has become a fancy luxury these days. Or maybe I’ll just go outside and sniff some roses – just for hell of it….

The bedroom window roses are in full bloom again. - April 2011

Happy Spring Sunday! and once again because I love saying it – Spring Break!

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Miss Peanuts enjoys her summer naps in the Catmint

Last Sunday I was so excited to have some free time and I went on about it being my last free time ever and then admitted to that being a gross exaggeration….well, it turns out that it wasn’t such a gross exaggeration after all. So, a brief update and then I’m off to grab some lunch and get back to work.

My favorite Lavender may be un-salvagable after the hard winter.

Homework and study have hit full force, with several big assignments due and a plethora of new words to learn. I love science, but you’ve got to carry a dictionary around with you in the beginning! Last night, I even had a school nightmare: wandering around lost on campus with a paper due in ten minutes that I did not do. When I woke up, sure enough my online class teacher had posted an assignment due tomorrow by noon. How do you post an assignment on Sunday and make it due by noon the next day when the next day is a holiday? Oh well.

The Angel's Trumpets on campus in August

The good news…Tom bought me a new digital camera – an early birthday present. It’s amazing and I’m still learning all of its tricks. So far, I’ve only used it for work. Friday, I took about a hundred pics on the job which I’ve got to download and sort out for the client/vendors this afternoon. I’m excited to see how they turn out and then start taking new plant photos with it. Just in time for Spring!

The Hyacinths popped up last month - like clockwork!

I’ve managed to plant some peas and radishes, arugula and lettuces. Last Sunday I pulled out all my leftover seeds and took inventory. Since work is seriously backing up, I will only be able to plant a few things here and there while cleaning up the garden and trimming things up for spring. It will have to be done in tiny time increments as I get them. The biggest thing I have learned, or learnING, is time management. With so many irons in the fire, I tend to work until I drop and then I’m sick. This year, my goal is to schedule time to rest and play in between all the other…and to pace myself. That’s the hardest part for me. I’m an extreme type person and that level pace is difficult. It’s getting better though.

Miss Peanut luxuriating in last Summer's study zone.

Have a great Sunday, remember to notice the early spring flowers, pace yourself and don’t work until you’re sick. And, most important of all, dream of Sunshine!

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fuzzy purple Salvia blossoms

First, Happy Sunday everyone – we successfully survived another week of challenge and mischief. Cause for celebration! All week long I’ve had several different subjects for today’s post floating around in the back of my mind; a front porch project I finished last month, the Fennel that happens to be in season at just this moment, seed inventory for Spring planting, a book review on the “Potting Shed” book that Dottie gave me…But, now that Sunday is finally here, I don’t want to do any of that. Instead, I’m going to share some photos from last year’s garden and take the lazy way out for a change.

creamy pink Witch's Mittens

Briefly, it’s too beautiful outside today and I’ve been cooped up in this house for what seems like the last two years! – I know, I exaggerate a little bit.

early August harvest

Also, I seem to have just a little bit of slack in my schedule today. Since I decided to take a giant leap off the proverbial cliff and signed up for three classes this semester, I don’t know how long that’s going to last. What if today is my last day EVER of having slack in my schedule? – ok, so today is the Sunday of Gross Exaggerations.

my volunteer Pampas Grass

Speaking of classes, all three involve a lot of reading and I’m actually interested in the subjects; Plant Biology/Botany, Physical Anthropology, and Cultural Anthropology…they seem like one class to me since the subjects overlap quite a lot, and I’m seriously in love with the science I’m learning about the plant world. Yes, I know a lot about gardening…but that’s different than knowing the science behind what I experience out there. When I get a little more comfortable with everything I’m learning, I’ll start using it here in my posts – very exciting stuff. Well, for me anyways!

Apple blossoms and Blue Felicia

So, since I’m not struggling with homework, the laundry is fine, the house is clean enough, I have no errands to run or appointments to keep, the pets are fed and Tom is happy with his newspaper…I’m going outside. Right now! and I’m going to stay out there until I get a little of this Spring Fever out of my system. A little bird told me we are going to have another cold snap next week, so I’ll probably just do some weed pulling and clean up…who cares what I do – I don’t! Just as long as I’m out there in the golden Sunshine enjoying this feeling of not having the weight of the world on my shoulders, for as long as it lasts, and counting my blessings that I don’t live somewhere cold or under the siege of a major governmental uprising, and grateful to Fred, the massage therapist that fixed my back last week so I can once again stand upright. Thank you Fred, I’ll try not to undo all of your handy-work today!

August Grapevines taking over

Have a great Sunday, dear Friends and Family….and remember to treat yourself to something beautiful today.

The lovely Miss Peanut waiting for dinner service

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The ramp to algebra class - up up and up!

β€œThe most essential factor is persistence – the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.”
~ James Whitcomb Riley

Jacaranda tree blooming on campus

Last night, around 6-ish, I did the last algebra homework assignment due for the year. Next week, I have three tests and then I’m finished. It feels as if I’ve done nothing but push numbers and x’s around on paper forever and ever! That’s probably an exaggeration, but math was not easy for me in any way: I’m aware that I would not have needed so much time if I had taken to it a little more naturally!

rainy morning campus foliage

Today is Sunday and I’m going to spend a little time celebrating my persistence with something that scared the hell out of me, made me break down a couple times and doubt my intelligence like never before. At this point, no matter how I do on the final tests, I will be proud of myself because I know what I overcame and I know what I did. There will be bigger and badder math classes in my future (I don’t even know exactly what calculus is but it’s on my to-do list) but I’m ready for it and now I have a solid (mostly solid) math foundation under me. It feels as though a previously missing piece of me has been restored and I feel more complete.

campus flowers - need to find out what these are!

So how will I celebrate? As soon as I finish this, I’m going out to the garden. My poor abandoned, overgrown, grassy weedy garden. I’m going to water it by hand, then sit on my stone bench and tell it how much I love it and that I’m sorry for being away so long. There has been a promise made that I will not get upset over what has died or dried up. Simply an acceptance of what had to be and what is, with a commitment to return when I have time. There will be a full month in between semesters and you can bet I’ll be out there as much as possible putting things in order!

autumn leaves near the classroom

After that, I’m going to brunch with some friends and maybe a walk on the beach. This evening, I’ll be back to the books to study for the final tests, but not until I get out in the Sun and share some laughter with people I love. Today, I will raise a glass to persistence – the most essential factor in gardening, and apparently, mathematics!

I pick up pine cones on campus after difficult classes. I have a lot of pine cones!

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