Sunday, May 30, 2021

dead limbs, lichens, and News Of The World

Texas star hibiscus, our native hibiscus

Apparently there was a big storm Friday night with high wind, lightning, thunder, and an inch of rain. The dog and I slept right through it.

So yesterday we finally got out there and cut up the big dead limb that fell during all this rain and filled half the little backyard. Then I loaded it all up in the truck and tossed it on the burn pile but first I had to empty the truck of all the other fallen branches that had accumulated so that went on the burn pile first. Then I filled it up again with the branches that were currently laying all over the yard some of which were the ground sweeping branches on the oak at the back of the property that I had pruned off. Maybe not completely, but pretty full. Then I mowed the little backyard which I had not been able to do. And yes, I mowed, instead of using the trimmer.

Our friend Bobby is moving to a retirement community to be near his daughter and grandkids and so he was selling his yard stuff which included a battery operated lawn mower which my sister acquired and then she gave me her little electric lawn mower along with the power cord. I don't know that it took me any less time but it's a much more even cut.

After that I was done for the day. I had rented the movie News Of The World Friday night but since we don't have dinner til 8 and it's about 9 when all the chores are done and by then watching a movie is an exercise in futility because by 9:30 we're nodding out on the couch. So we watched it Saturday afternoon. We had both read the book, which is an excellent read if you haven't, and the movie doesn't follow it precisely but it was still very good.

Now back to the dead limb. It was covered with lichens, such variation and so interesting.


Friday, May 28, 2021

just stuff

My apologies for the unsettling image of the snapping turtle. It didn't occur to me that some people might find it unpleasant. It didn't bother me and I got to thinking about it. I certainly wouldn't have posted an image of a dead cat or dog or any mammal with it guts hanging out. So why didn't the turtle hit that note with me? It probably came up out of the East Bernard river via Peach Creek or Baughman Slough, both of which are drainage tributaries to the river and there's a drainage slough that cuts diagonally through the neighborhood, cuts through the property behind the shop to the big culverts under road that our streets dead end into and then cuts across the corn/cotton field and into Baughman Slough. I've heard that this is part of Peach Creek, or was, before the Army Corp of Engineers redirected it. I could be wrong about this. My neighbor Gary tells me that another neighbor found the turtle in his yard and they moved it to the ditch at my end of the street where it climbed back out and was purposely run over. Had to be on purpose because it was in the grass on the side of the street. People suck. Fucking fuckers.

Well, the sun finally came out and we've had three days in a row with no rain and temps soaring into the high 80s. The ground is so saturated that there is still water in some ditches and the mosquitoes are still just as bad and I finally broke down and bought one of those home yard foggers you hook up to your hose but I haven't used it yet. Maybe today.

My arm/shoulder is almost completely pain free. I have no idea why. Monday at yoga we did a pose that put pressure on the shoulder and Tuesday morning it felt a lot better and even popped a little bit so I added that to my daily routine and Wednesday we did it again and during the night the shoulder gave a big pop at one point when I was shifting my sleeping position. Thursday morning and today it feels pretty damn good so I guess whatever was getting pinched or compressed has been relieved. Just a little residual soreness. I hope.

I don't really have much to report, was out of pocket and mind for two days.

I picked the big butternut squash yesterday and noticed another vine was putting on a third one. This has grown with absolutely no help from me from seeds I tossed in the compost pile.

And last night Minnie had me laughing so hard. There's a pillow on the couch and she burrowed into the pillowcase and then she had the pillow jumping around while she tried to get out. She finally wormed her way out and was sitting there looking at me with just her head looking over the pillow and when I tried to take a picture she turned her head refusing to look at me no matter how much I coaxed.

She was not amused. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

if it doesn't stop soon I'm going to grow gills and webs between my fingers and toes

More rain last night and this Monday morning, fortunately not hard but just as wet. The sun has managed to break through off and on though not for long and the dog and I are tired of being housebound how on earth did people who live in apartments do it for a whole year and so we ventured out a few minutes ago. Holy fucking cow and I thought the mosquitoes were bad a couple of days ago. They are so thick and fierce they swarmed me and the dog almost immediately, nearly carrying us away as if they were flying monkeys. In we ran as they tag along on clothes and bodies so that once inside they are still attacking. Even if I doused myself with repellant I don't think it would stop these fuckers. I did notice while I was out there that these 10 days or so of rain have beat the petals off most of the yellow coneflowers so I'll be pulling them out, neither has it been kind to the petunias but I think they'll recover as soon as it dries out.

Two views of the yard...

what's blooming foreground: porterweed, black and blue salvia, black eyed susans; mid-ground: red salvia, society garlic, day lily, elephant garlic; background: pink rose, white althea with red throat

purple coneflowers, white althea

Sunday Minnie was letting me know in no uncertain terms that she wanted to go for a walk so I put the harness on her and out we went but had to cut it short as it started sprinkling oh joy and we did make it back to the house before it started raining in earnest but just barely. We saw this though, when we started out. I had watched the dozen or so vultures earlier in the day picking at whatever it was and as we got closer I could see that it was a big turtle and my heart just sank immediately thinking that Big Mama had somehow gotten out but no, she's big but not this big and the head on this thing must be 3” in diameter. Looks like it crawled out of the ditch and got run over. Monday, something had dragged it into the street and today it's gone altogether.

Well, I did get the book I was reading read in record time. I'm bored with FB and Twitter, I'm caught up on reading blogs. If this weather doesn't break soon I'm going to have to resort to cleaning house to keep myself busy. Or, I suppose I could do a drawing. I do have a picture that needs to be hung as well as some of my glasswork.

I'm still not feeling the urge to create, after 44 years of drawing and crafting everyday, I wonder if I'm done with all that. Surely not.


Monday afternoon the sun finally came out breaking up the overcast into huge puffy white cumulus clouds towering up into the sky. Once again Minnie was bugging me to go outside so I went and stood in the sun in the street away from grassy things. My sister saw me and came out to ask me why I was standing in the street. “It's the most mosquito free spot I could find,” I told her.

I finally did my yoga routine Monday morning even though that one spot on my upper arm still hurt and after, it didn't hurt any less but it didn't hurt anymore either. And I did go to class last evening just modifying certain asanas and to my surprise, this morning it feels much better. So now I'm afraid to test it, waiting til this afternoon to see how it feels. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

spring gives way to summer

While we had two days in a row with no rain, it returned Friday night. The tropical disturbance in the Gulf made landfall so we had bouts of heavy rain which continued yesterday and predicted for today. The ground is well saturated now, so wet all I can do is look at the flower beds before scurrying back inside. The big ass black mosquitoes have been joined by tiny black mosquitoes.

The yard is transitioning from spring to summer...poppies are gone to seed, love-in-a-mist done blooming and going to seed, the larkspur is still blooming but they started a little late, the rock rose has started up,

some of the orange cosmos are starting to bloom and the begonia, 

the yellow clasping leaved coneflowers are past prime but still pretty, the purple coneflowers are in full bloom and as mentioned the day lilies have started up and so have the altheas aka rose of sharon. 

Also the black and blue salvia and the yarrow, most of which of both I will pull out after it blooms, stuff is invasive.

A few of the zinnias I started from seed that sprouted and then never grew have finally decided that maybe they will grow now that they're in the ground while others are still just sitting there. I did throw out the handfuls of zinnia seeds I collected from the pink and white ones from last year and with all this rain they are sprouting thickly while the four small zinnia plants I bought at the feed store are being heartily consumed by something. Snails would be my guess but they aren't bothering anything else.

And I have one more survivor! The desert rose trumpet flower vine which is really more of an unruly shrub that bloomed so beautifully last summer, fall and even into the winter has put out new growth from the roots! I'm really happy about that so truly I only lost the hibiscus, bougainvillea, star of india gardenia,  the pink crinum lilies, and the rosemary which I always forget about.

So, of course, after I dithered about what to do with the 8' tall bridal bouquet plumeria...repot it and cut it back, put it in the ground, repot it but don't cut it back, which is what I finally did because it had such a pretty crown...the big rain and wind storm that came through last Monday night blew it over. Normally that doesn't do much damage, just breaks a few leaves off, but this time it fell on the two wheel hand cart and totally trashed the crown even breaking off one of the branches. Well, fuck. It will recover but it's not nearly as pretty a plant as it was. And speaking of the plumerias, some of them are already putting out bloom stalks.

I suppose I was a little premature boasting about my arm because it was fairly sore yesterday, though it feels pretty good today, and I don't know why which makes me unhappy as I'm wanting to start my yoga routine up again. I'm waiting til Monday evening when the next yoga class is so I'll see how it goes. 

the corn in the field at the end of the street

Friday, May 21, 2021

rain, rain, more rain and the continuing attack on our democracy

We had more rain off and on most the day Tuesday and throughout Tuesday night, rain, not too heavy mostly, but constant lightning and thunder, one particular flash very close and very loud. All evening and all night. Not sure what time it moved on. The little dog finally exhausted herself with trembling and panting (with occasional brief respites) from Saturday night to sometime after bed Tuesday night. I noticed at some point that even though it was still lightning and thundering, she was under the covers asleep. Poor thing. And even more to come. So far the amount of rain we've gotten is nothing compared to what some people have already received west and south of here, 17” in Ganado about halfway between here and Victoria. More rain on Wednesday but thankfully the storms predicted for most the day yesterday did not materialize.

Rain just drains me of any ambition to do anything and I managed to put off my grocery store run til yesterday after carefully counting cat food portions and the number of meals ahead.

The county was out on our street yesterday trying to clear culverts in the ditches so the water would flow. It flows fine at my end of the street where it eventually drains into Boughman Slough but too many of the culverts between my end and the other end of the street are filled with dirt and debris which cause it not to flow at all at the other end so it floods those yards and they just have to wait for the water to soak in. It doesn't help that the culverts are, in a lot of cases, higher than the bottom of the ditches. They dug out at the mouths of some culverts and then determined that the ditches needed to be regraded with a backhoe (or whatever the machine with the scoop is called) to take out the high spots. I know this because the county guy pulled into my driveway to let us know they would be working on the ditch in front of our house even though there was only an inch or two of standing water in a few spots and I told him it flowed just fine. They can re-dig those ditches but unless they clear out all the dirt and debris from the middle of those culverts under people's driveways, it won't improve water flow. What they need is an auger of some sort or a high pressure water hose to blast them clear. More rain and thunderstorms are predicted for today to add to the nearly 8” of rain we've already had since last Sunday

And speaking of last Sunday when I was forced to end my work outside, who knew that 5 days of rest and not using my right arm for anything more strenuous than turning a page of the book I'm reading would result in much less pain. OK, the answer to that is...everyone. Anyway, it's much better, not completely healed but have much more pain free movement. And now they are saying the rain will last through next Wednesday so maybe by then it will be healed enough to resume my normal activity.


And now your occasional reminder of how corrupt the Republican party is. The House voted Wednesday to establish a 9/11 style commission to investigate the insurrection on 1/6 to determine the facts of who did what when with who and with what knowledge achieved how on whose order and benefit. Is that confusing enough? Of course a commission should be established and anyone who would vote against getting to the bottom of the attack on our democracy could rightly be considered complicit because why would any innocent person not want to know who planned it, financed it, enabled it? All but 35 Republicans in the House of Representatives of the United States of America voted against the bill even after their three demands were met by the Democrats, something they did not expect to happen and figured would give them good reason to vote against it. So, 175 of our lawmakers seemingly either participated in the insurrection or supported it. Innocent people do not object to official inquiries. Traitors all or still fear for themselves and their families from Trump's thugs, a fear they need to face and a thug they need to stand up to. And, of course, the day after Trump stated publicly that he wanted the investigation to not happen, McConnell came out publicly against establishing the commission and is now planning to filibuster it in the Senate. Whether enough Republican senators side with Democrats to get it passed remains to be seen. But if McConnell succeeds in blocking it from passing in the Senate it ultimately won't matter as the Democrats can establish special counsels to investigate the insurrection just as the Republicans did with Benghazi, over and over and over again ultimately making HRC testify for 11 hours (can you imagine Trump in that hot seat?). The more the republicans try to obstruct an investigation, the more they try to gaslight it as a peaceful gathering, the more they try to portray it as an average tourist visit, the more guilty they look. We are not to believe our eyes, they say, when we see Capitol police being beaten to death, when we see the looks of fear in the faces of these republican politicians  during the event in the videos and images , we are not to believe  that they were barricading the door to the chamber while the domestic terrorists were roaming the halls looking for them. 


The open flowers of the elephant garlic, the buds of which occupied this space in my last post.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

rainy days and fallen limbs

I haven't done any yoga since last Wednesday at class though I could still be doing my core strengtheners and hip openers. My upper arm/shoulder was really aching and I even opted not to do some of the asanas during class that would put pressure on it. So, I thought, give it a week to heal except, of course, I'm out in the yard doing shit every day but at least I'm trying to use my left arm for the work, favoring my right. So the day of rain Sunday was good, forced me to take a day off and Monday too being too wet to do anything outside and because it's a sunny day, horribly humid. I suppose I could get the azaleas fertilized for the last time this year which just involves tossing handfuls of the stuff on the ground around the plants, which ideally I would follow with a layer of mulch but that's more labor intensive and since it's supposed to rain more this week, I'll wait. So two days of being lazy. I always feel like a slug when the day ends and I haven't accomplished a thing. I have to keep reminding myself that resting is also an accomplishment. Well, I've been to the library today so I have two books to help me accomplish resting.

Sunday night, closing up the house about 8:30 I looked out the back door to see a huge dead limb had fallen off the tallow tree in the little backyard. Hard to believe we neither heard it break nor thud to the ground. Gonna be a major effort to get that cut up and moved to the burn pile. I swear, some days it feels like all we do is pick up and cut up fallen branches off the pecans, oaks, and now the tallow.

Also Sunday, since I was housebound and had finished the book I'd been reading I figured it was a good day to make these,

an idea I got from Boud of Field and Fen and her creative cooking that she posts about. I don't know what to call them, if they were smaller, I'd call them empanadas. I had been saving the pie crust that gets trimmed off when I make pies and had five balls of dough in the freezer and also some shredded roast from a previous meal. I chopped up some onions, garlic, celery, carrots, broccoli, boiled some small potatoes til they were still a little firm and then cubed them, skinned and cut up the five or six very ripe little tomatoes I got at the market last Saturday, sautéed the vegetables, added the potatoes and tomatoes and let it cook a little longer and then spooned some of the mixture on the round of pie dough I had rolled out, sprinkled on some parmesan cheese, folded it over, crimped the edges, and baked for about 20 minutes. Rolling out the pie dough proved to be a challenge though as I don't have a rolling pin but a tall smooth sided glass did the trick.

You might remember I did a spate of cooking with butternut squash a while back and the seeds went into the compost pile. This is what my compost pile looks like now

and it's producing two nice sized butternut squashes.


Well, it rained most the day yesterday, Monday, off and on, but not heavily until last evening. It had stopped by late afternoon though still overcast and so Pam and I took off for El Campo for yoga class. As we were sitting in the car waiting for Abby to arrive Pam got a text from a friend telling her some bad weather was on the way. We looked up to the north and it was black and roiling and moving toward us so we checked the weather and radar and heavy rain was bearing down on us and would hit about the time we would be leaving for home. Neither of us wanted to drive back on the highway in that so we decided to skip class just as Mauri drove up. I jumped out to explain why we were leaving and to please tell Abby and she had just been looking at the radar map as well. Better leave now if you want to miss it, it's coming fast she says. So we did. It had just started to rain when we got home and then the heavy stuff hit and another, smaller, branch fell out of the tallow.

And we're supposed to get even more rain this week.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

yard work and a little hilarity

The push is on to get everything done in the yard by the end of the month, get the beds weeded, fertilized, and mulched, get the summer annuals in, get everything repotted that have outgrown their pots, get the plumerias moved. This week I got the plumerias, the two angel trumpets, and the nun's orchid repotted, took my neighbor Gary and neighbor Judy some of the dwarf gladiolus, picked up the brick pavers bordering a small flower bed I'm giving up on (too much work to keep the baby rain trees out) and added them to the appropriate pile in the barn and dug up more dwarf gladiolus, spider lilies, day lilies, spiderwort, and amaryllis from that bed and shared them around with Pam and the neighbors. I dithered about repotting the big yellow trumpet flower or putting it in the ground and finally just put it in the biggest pot that the dead star of India was in.

Because of all this outside activity I haven't had my usual blog reading time to see what y'all are up to but I'll be back around.

Last Thursday was food delivery day at SHARE from the regional food bank and one of the things on the pallet was over 200 pounds of this candy. 

Jan sent all the volunteers home with a box and told the guys in the back to be generous with it when filling food requests and one of the guys opened one there at SHARE for us to share (see what I did there). So Thursday night while I was still finishing my dinner (slow eater eating mindfully) Marc attempted to open the plastic box of candy. He struggled with that thing for about 5 minutes and never could get the top off the box. Take a knife to it I told him. I'm about too he replied. We were feeling highly amused at this point but when he got the knife and worked on it to little effect it was getting hysterical. Finally, whatever he did busted the plastic lid with half of it popping off and candy went flying everywhere, all over the table, the floor, and even into the kitchen. OMG we were laughing so hard by this time we couldn't talk or breathe, wiping tears away. 

I have no idea why he had such a hard time opening that plastic box. Alcohol may have been involved.

Yesterday I finally repotted the tall bridal bouquet plumeria putting off pruning it back til fall or next spring. 

Believe it or not, that's a bigger pot than the one it was in. 

I got a bit more done around the yard and then my daughter and the twins, who are in town for the weekend, came by for a visit so nothing else got done and then it rained last night and is currently raining now so that's it for yard work til it dries out some.

Thursday, Marc was looking for a small tiny phillips head screwdriver and he saw a snake in the open toolbox sticking its head up from under the tray, closed it and brought it outside and took the tray out to discover a mouse nest in one corner with the snake now hiding under the small metal box he was trying to move out of the way with the stick.

Several tries later we got it moved enough to expose the little rat snake. I say little because they can get 6' long.

After encouraging it to vacate the tool box and it moved away under the truck I cleaned out the paper trash and there was a dead hairless baby mouse in there so the rat snake was doing its job. Then Saturday Marc scared up another snake while he was mowing which we are pretty sure was a copperhead in retrospect. That one I would have killed had I had a shovel handy so I picked up a long stick and herded it towards the wicked witch of the west's property. It was going that way anyway.

Some miscellaneous pics to end with...

Pam and I spied the neighborhood peacock coming back from yoga Wednesday evening.

Marc brought this magnolia blossom in yesterday and it immediately filled the room with it's scent.

A cloud with eyes.

Getting to be daylily time.

The purple coneflowers in the front are in full bloom.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

ups and downs

Rejected, I did not make it into the Lifeforms show...again.

I'm not wowed by the new expensive 800 thread count 100% cotton sateen sheets. While they felt soft enough in the package in the store, they're a little stiff or rather, have a lot of body, and not as soft as the 600 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets we wore out. Hopefully that will change as they get washed more.

Did I mention that the two yellow angel trumpets in the ground did eventually come back? My sister noticed the one over at the shop so I checked the one here and yup, coming back. And I'm finally getting some buds on the sweet peas and this not quite completely open flower surprised me this morning!

Even though we had a couple of cool mornings and low humidity days last week, it is definitely summer now. The yellow clasping leaved coneflowers and the white queen anne's lace are in full bloom in pastures and roadsides and the corn in the fields is about 4' tall. It's hot and humid and the mosquitoes are out, big black ones, a sure sign of summer.

The poppies are done, now I'm just waiting for them to finish going to seed before I pull them out.

I'm working on repotting (or planting in the ground) all the plumerias since it's been several years since I last did and they are all root bound and getting them moved to their summer stations. Another one, the very tall bridal bouquet plumeria that blooms white all summer, has gotten so big, 8' tall, I'm considering ditching it's pot and putting it in the ground except I don't think I'd be able to get it back out in the fall. It was so gorgeous blooming all summer that I am loathe to cut it back though I may have to. If not this year, then next. And I'm having to juggle pots. I split the nun's orchid into two smaller pots so I could use the bigger one it was in.

Nothing else much has been going on around here, just dousing myself with mosquito repellant and dicking around in the yard and sweating.


Yesterday was a very full day. Did my yoga, wrote on this post some, fixed breakfast, did some repotting and moving of pots around, dug up a clump of the dwarf gladiolus and divided it and delivered the two pots to two neighbors and got some marigolds and a peach colored iris from one and some homegrown green beans and yellow squash from the other in return, gave Minnie a car ride while we went to take pictures of the yellow coneflowers and queen anne's lace, did the dishes (always a mountain since I let them pile up until all the plates, with accompanying silverware, are dirty) (I do rinse everything off so it's not all piling up dirty and glasses and kitchen plates and pots and pans and flatware goes in the dishwasher), and fixed some roasted cauliflower to go with dinner, cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, called the cat in, locked up the house for the night, brushed my teeth, brushed the cat, and fell into bed.

And of course this morning, after I pronounced it summer, which it really is, I woke up today to another cool morning.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

taking care of business and the continued decline of the republican party

Well, it was a comedy of errors with two fools but we eventually got it up.

Previously Pam had ordered a pop up canopy to give her shade loving plants in pots some shade since she has none at her house but the high wind and 8” of rain last week cratered it,

so I offered her the use of our 'show' tent that Marc used for sandblasting the glass when we did the A&M job and it's been packed away ever since so Friday we, literally, dragged the bag with the top and sides and the bag with the frame pieces over to where she wanted it and set about erecting it. My knot tying skills (yay, I still remember how to do it) from my river guide days came in handy when we secured the frame to the concrete weights she had from a previous life, back when her husband was still alive and they were doing the farmer's market out here.

Before that though, we went to an estate sale. I bought two screwdrivers for the toolkit I'm putting together for over at the shop so I'm not taking the ones from the house, cost me a whopping $1.50. We used to go on Thursday mornings when they start but that was before I started volunteering at SHARE.

Today I went to the “farmer's” market to get tamales and honey and some ground beef from local pasture raised cows.

This was probably the most vendors they've had so far this season and no produce (freeze set everyone's gardens back). I'd guess at least half the vendors were selling baked goods...bread, cookies, pastries, cupcakes, muffins, desserts. The rest was a varied assortment of crafts, canned goods, baby chicks, eggs, the local rescue outfit had kittens, the meat, local honey.

Then I tackled my project for the day...moving all the brick piles from the side of the garage where they were sinking and covered by devil's tongue and liriope and grass and weeds and leaves into the barn. Now I can see what I've got.


So now there's a whole right wing trope about the stimulus money and restaurants and some other businesses not being able to hire enough staff or workers. The trope goes like this...nobody wants to work because they are getting all that free money with the stimulus and the enhanced unemployment insurance. It came up on the local chat FB page and another guy and I called bullshit. Some people were complaining that they had been to a couple of local restaurants and they had only one server and one cook and the wait was long. Maybe if they didn't pay starvation wages they wouldn't have this problem. Maybe if they offered a living wage they could keep employees. Maybe some people are choosing not to go back to work as long as they can get the unemployment which isn't making anyone rich, just enough to cover basic necessities. And I don't blame them a bit. I doubt any of the people complaining about low wage workers not returning to their jobs would give up a brief respite to go back to making less than they needed to survive and yet they are so quick to cast aspersions on an entire group of low wage workers.

At SHARE last Thursday, it came up again...twice. Hanging out with the guys, one of them repeated the BS. It's a myth, I told them, and I read later that research does not support the lie. Later, sitting with some of the other women (it was a slow day), someone else repeated the same trope. I kept my mouth shut because these are all religious republicans with one or two exceptions (republican, not the religious part) who are doing what their religion requires of them, helping those less fortunate and I do like volunteering there. Finally I put forth that if that was the case then maybe these employers should offer better wages. I got a grudging nod from one.

So, while on the one hand republicans are trashing the stimulus as destroying worker initiative, and at least three states are refusing to implement the enhanced unemployment thereby forcing their citizens back to work for starvation wages, some republican congresspeople are going out to their constituents and promoting how the stimulus package is helping them, as if they actually voted for it. Not a single republican voted for the American Rescue Act. Not one. And, big surprise, McConnell has recently stated that his sole focus is making sure this administration does not succeed. Think about that. A high ranking member of Congress is doing his best to make sure that Biden does not succeed in making the lives of ordinary Americans better.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

shopping spree and misc. pics

Two days and 8” of rain, sometimes heavy, and wind has littered the yard once again with branches large and small and leaves of all kinds and driven the fire ants up and onto high ground, meaning into my flower beds.

In case you can't tell, they've built up 
around the base of the recovering gardenia.

The poppies are listing heavily and some are laying flat but they are going by anyway.

What I thought were maybe flower buds appearing on the sweet peas don't seem to be after all. I'm beginning the think they just aren't going to bloom. Of all those two packets of zinnia seeds I planted that sprouted in the trays, only a handful have survived and aren't really growing even after being put in the ground.

I'm finally feeling back to normal today after three days of a sour stomach, low energy, and sleepiness. I blame two nights in a row of those sweet rich desserts my daughter gave me. In retrospect, instead of us splitting two for two nights, we should have split one for four nights. I did get all three of my tables cleared off yesterday, something that occurs only infrequently so take a quick look because they won't stay this way long.

We headed into Shopping Mecca today to do what we planned for last Friday...liquor warehouse, sheets, and jewelry store, already too hot for a meal sitting outside. The liquor warehouse was the easiest, the sheets took us three stores but we did find some 100% cotton, 800 thread count, sateen sheets. Colors were limited to white, gray, burgundy, and dark blue so we got the burgundy and the dark blue and that's the most I have ever spent for sheets in my life.

Last stop was the jewelry store to see about the diamond stud. He looked through a loupe and then used some other sort of detecting device to determine, yep it's real and 44 points, just under half a carat, did I want the same color, and yes they can match it. Triple digits, high triple digits. Gulp. We looked at new pairs there in the store. They ranged from over two thousand for little ones to over 6 thousand for bigger than mine. Well, alrighty then, triple digits started looking pretty good. It should be ready in a couple of weeks. Happy birthday to me and thank you President Biden.

I have some photos that have piled up that didn't really fit in other posts so I'm putting them here.

Five abandoned eggs. The four little ones are from the wren nest in the garage, abandoned when I put the big blue tarp up to help protect the tropicals during the deep freeze. The one bigger one was left in the nest of the barn swallows after the other two hatched and fledged.

Fire ants weren't the only thing looking for higher ground.

Cinco de Mayo rose with baby katydid