Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy #14

These are some of the little things that end up in my apron pockets when I tidy the house. (I decided not to photograph the large wad of old crumbs.) It makes me happy when I put my apron on, and discover a pocketful of such trinkets. Sweet little reminders of my sweet little life.
Hope your apron pockets are full of happiness today too!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekending at the Holt House.

Oh, a little of this, a little of that, a little of sumpin' else is going on around here this weekend. I have a spare 14 seconds so, "let me sum up." (Do you know that line from The Princess Bride? Kills me every time.)

Finishing the tile back splash in the kitchen. Four years in the making. Ahem. It looks mucho fantastico though. Jackdaddy did a stellar job, as usual. I'll show you finishedfinished later.


We made some home made strawberry lemonade. The perfect activity for a wild boychild who likes to crush things. FYI, it does not take many strawberries. We made a large pitcher of it, and this was too many berries. I'm way beyond actually counting them, but, if you want to, just know to cut that number in about half.


Fish and chips. Girl, girl, girl. The $400.00 per lbs, sustainably-caught, wild Atlantic cod from Whole Foods makes for some fine pub food. Go figure. I found THIS recipe (gotta love a site called Bottoms Up), and it is the best I've tried so far. However, it did not hold its crunch. Meaning, once the fish was cold, the batter was ugh. Course, we don't much care around here. We just peeled the batter off the next morning and ate it anyway. Oh, there's a shot of the final new back splash! Look how that clever man put ONE red tile in there. I just LOVE that. He said he thought I'd like it, and it matches the tea pot. What a guy, huh?
Last, but not least, here's something that's been taking up a lot of our weekend...



Meet Clover. Or Oliver, depending on who you ask. If you ask me, this is Clover. Could. you. just. die? I simply cannot believe I got talked into another animal. I need to be committed. To be perfectly frank, I think I would love to be committed to some nice, swanky recovery place for a couple of weeks; clean sheets, no dishes to wash, no animals to feed, nobody crawling on my head all night...ahhhhh. (Y'all know I'm just joshin'.)
So, we've been busy, busy. Jackdaddy and FinnigantheCurious are off to meet some astronauts (really!) and I'm off to clean. Lucky me!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The butterflies have arrived!

We're all on high alert around here as a butterfly cocoon has been discovered! 

I have a feeling this is just the first of many, as I have lots of caterpillars under the milkweed leaves. 

They're holding very still and I bet they're about to do their thing. 

Here's the one already in progress...
Isn't that just fabulous? Beautiful? Incredible

The caterpillar-to-butterfly must be one of nature's finest miracles. 

The tadpole-to-frog thing is pretty impressive as well. 

 OK, it's all amazing and I seriously never tire of it. 

FinnigantheCurious and I go out and check on this guy about 100 times a day. 

I'm terrified that one of the chikkins is gonna eat it. 

 I think I'm going to put a tomato cage around it to discourage them. 

 I thought about taking it inside and putting it in the butterfly cage thingee, but I just can't bear to. 

Nature is a much better host than I. 

So there it hangs, nature's Superbowl, and we've got front-row tickets. 

Yeehaw.


I did some silhouette painting yesterday in honor of the process...



It's a veritable silhouette-a-go-go around here. 

These tiny bits of art and gardening are about all I can do these days with the h.e.a.t. 

It's much better to sit inside and think about the great outdoors right now than it is to be in it. 

 I'll be grateful for my place on the map come January though. 

 I like my not-too-cold winters just fine, thank you very much. 

All-righty, I'm off to check the cocoon and shoo the chikkins off the veranda (that's my new, fancy name for my patio). 

Did you know chikkins poop a LOT? 

They do. 

I'll leave you with that.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Squirrel King.

Remember THIS post?
That area was still not working for me at all

I pulled the plug on the pondlette thingee and moved the plants to the pond and the stock tanks. 

Hmmm...now what to do? What to do? 

I had been thinking that I wanted to paint a silhouette there...maybe the Buddha? 

But now the Buddha didn't seem quite right. What to do?
Sometimes I just have to hem and haw and play on the computer and be open to whatever. 

I just love this process...knowing that I want something, but not being sure what. 

Then I see a part of that something, and it sets me off in the right direction. 

I got wind in my sails, and before I knew it, I figured it out! 

A few clip art pieces hacked together and... YES...


Oh, I love it
 .
It's my new favorite thing ever

 I'm going to fill in that spot with Aquilegia Canadensis - sweet, sweet Columbine. 

This spot is quite shady and I think it will be perfectly suited for some. 

Fairy tales are always full of Columbine, you know. 

 This project has my creative juices flowing...who knows what will come next? 

Maybe I'll turn this whole area into a fairy tale garden!

The End.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy # 13

I cleaned up my front yard.
I added some mulch.
And, last, but not least, I had a super bonus fine thing happen. The new boys that moved in next door are tres sweet. One of them, David, helped me unload the mulch. (Can I get an AMEN?) I served him up a fine, cold brewsky in exchange.
Happy indeed, y'all!
PS I do plan to paint the trim on the not-so-new-anymore window soon. Soonish.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fowl Play.

We got two new chikkins! Paigealicious over at Urban Patchwork brought them to us. Wanna see?

That's Melba on the left. She's a something-something. That's Shirley on the right. She's a something-something else. (I'm very wabi-sabi about chikkin breeds.) I built (I used that term very loosely) a thingee inside the coop to keep them separate from the old girls so they wouldn't fuss. I got up in the morning and the "well-built" thingee was discombobulated and all the chikkins were hanging out together just a clucking and a cooing. Go figure. Apparently, my girls are party girls - the more the merrier, right? (They take after their "mama.") I'm here to tell ya' that chikkins do not like their pictures taken. They don't mind you taking a picture of their butts, but they're face-shy. I must say, I am the exact opposite.

The Great Holt Bird Show that goes on outside my kitchen window revealed a new character yesterday! Check this guy out...


I guess it's a teenager Cardinal? Is it a female? Right now it still has a lot of brown on it ... CRAP, it's 9:00 pm, and I forgot to put the chikkins up!!!! Hang on...

Aargggg... I did it again! I forgot to get out there before dark last night and Melba spent the night in a tree. She's out again and I can't find her spot. Apparently, she's into pulling all-nighters. Drat, Drat, Drat. She's turned out to be the loner girl. No one is mean to her, but she forages alone ... well, sometimes with Shirley, but mostly alone. Oh man...ugh. OK, well, nothing more I can do. She did fine last night so, hopefully she'll be all-right tonight too. I think she was gloating a bit this morning when I came to let them out. The other girls were all huddled by the door ready to go and there was Melba...already out and eating bugs. She showed them! Sigh, I hopehopehope she's OK. I won't forget tomorrow, for sure.

Anyway, what...oh, the little bird. You think she's a fledgling Cardinal?
Maybe she and Melba can hook-up tonight and have a wild bird time of it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy #12

video

Have you ever seen a dragonfly laying eggs? This is what it looks like. I didn't even know that dragonflies start life in the water! You can read about it here. We have a resident couple that lives here, and they are a constant source of entertainment. He is SO very orange. She is a peachy kind of orange. Both are lovely to look at. Having a pond is a happy, happy thing.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Leggy.

I am still just loving this Fairy Duster that I got at The Natural Gardener. It's the only fancy plant I have in my garden, and it's really proven its worth. I feel like I may be beginning to get picky about plants. HORROR! It was bound to happen, you know. You get one, and then all of the sudden the lantana doesn't do the trick anymore. Sigh. All this rather pedestrian stuff in my garden is looking so, hmmm, pedestrian right now. The lantana are all leggy and wild, and completely out of control. My butterfly weed, which I normally love, is really, really leggy and looking quite unattractive. I just did not have the caterpillar action this year that I have in the past. They haven't been chomping it back this year at all. I'm about to just chop them all off myself. If no one's at the buffet, why bother, right? I put in several Artemisia around the yard and they just plumb damn fell apart! I would show you, but I ripped 'em all up and trashed 'em. I think I got the wrong kind. I wanted the kind that stand up straight and are kinda hard and make yellow bloom things. The ones I got were very fluttery and airy. They just fell apart and kinda turned to dust. Whatever. Moving on from them until I can figure out what kind it was I was wanting. Oh, and my Butterfly Bush? UGH! I just hate the way they're looking. I didn't know they got so wacky and wild. They're taking over everything around them and drooping down everywhere. They are a must move next month. I don't know what I thought they were supposed to look like, but they're not working for sure. Anyway, this pretty Fairy Duster is just doing so beautifully that she's making me want more. More of her, and more of the fancy plants that I usually bypass due to price and lack of knowledge. Am I becoming a gardener? Is this how it happens?

I almost saved this next treasure for a post all by itself, but I've been so slacker about posting that I'd better just do it now (also I just can't wait to show you!)...


I KNOW!
Shut UP, right? Guess who FOUND this little jewel on the side of the road? (Found! Found!) No, not me...Jackdaddy! Is that man well-trained or whut? Does it not just scream I Dream of Jeannie? I know this lamp might not appeal to you, but to my mid-century loving heart...I could scarcely breathe upon seeing it. I am guessing that the poor bastard who put this out on the side of the road just doesn't know about ebay or craigslist. I hope, hope, hope he never does. His hipster grandkid is probably over there as we speak
freaking out about him putting that lamp on the curb. That grandkid was probably going to graciously take said lamp and sell it. Sorry, sweetie. It lives with me now.

Payday found me at Urban Outfitters again looking for some more metal letters to finish my GARD_N sign.

I didn't find quite what I was looking for, but I did like these. I wanted it to read, OH HI, but there was only on H. I'm sure these cost about $0.2 to make. I gotta figure out how to weld. I mean, these are probably welding 101 at most. I gotta learn to weld, and to use a jigsaw. I finally gave up on knitting, so maybe that gives me room on my "Things I Must Learn To Do" list. Here's the new E...


She looks kinda cute, right? I had a really bitchin' one that I made out of bottle caps. I mean, I had the caps all laid out, I just needed to have the actual E cut out. One of Finn's friends was overcome by temptation and mauled it, and I just haven't had the umpf to redo it. This cutie pie will have to do until the mood strikes me again.

Whew. I thought I had nothing to say, and instead, I tomed you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Happy #11








A houseFUL of flowers for me, for me. La tee dah! My dearest neighbor and fellow gardener (oh, how I dream of being at her level) graced me with free flowers from her new jardin. They are everywhere in my house, and I am SO happy. And grateful. Muchos Gracias, Ms. Elaine. Your generosity is epic, as always.