Friday, March 26, 2021

March – marching right along


Well, it is officially spring here.  Yes, I know Ostara, the Spring Equinox, the official first day of spring was last Saturday.  I did put out my decorations for Ostera (or Easter – whichever works for you). 

Then, I went out and planted my herb garden – yes, in containers (I’m not ready for full blown flower beds).  Let’s see – parsley, Mexican mint marigold (our substitute for tarragon), savory, 3 kinds of basil, borage, sage, marjoram, oregano, catnip, allspice, spearmint (can’t find peppermint yet) and something else I’m forgetting.  Oh yes – rosemary (planted by the front stairs to keep yard and house safe).  No, not all in these four little planters but also in pots all around the yard.

But, spring hadn’t actually sprung on the 21st. 

However, yesterday I noticed the true harbinger of spring.  The pecan trees are are finally budding out!  They are always the last thing to come out in the spring, waiting until the cold weather is done.  Winter is over! 

Today I planted lettuce.  Took a page from Bobby’s “How to Grow Vegetables and be a Success!” book and, hopefully in a few weeks, I’ll have some nice crunchy fresh lettuce!

Also, my tomato plants have produced future tomatoes (the little yellow flowers). 

Not claiming “Farmer” status yet but . . . .

I never seem to get any interesting mail.  You know – just bills and ads.  Nothing that makes me laugh out loud or feel terrible, annoying, irritated disgust.  While at Bobby’s house earlier this week, he shared with me a rather unusual piece of mail he received. 

It’s from something called Saint Matthew’s Church.  I mean – the envelop is eye catching all by itself!  Inside was a letter with elaborate instructions, including requests for $$$, to ensure that god will answer your prayers.  And, there are testimonials confirming it really works.  Uh huh.  There was also a paper “prayer rug” that they ask you to pray over and return to them (along with the $$$, of course).  

And, yes, this is a huge scam.  The leader is a former tent revivalist who has made millions preying on low-income and older people.  If there is such a thing, people like this belong in the 8th and 9th circle of hell from Dante’s Devine Comedy.

What else – well, today is Pecan Day.  On March 25,1775, a pecan tree was planted by George Washington at his Mount Vernon estate. That particular tree’s famous roots grow even deeper as the sapling was gifted to him by Thomas Jefferson, who had planted a few pecan trees from the southern US at his own estate in Monticello, VA.  An interesting bit of trivia though I have to wonder who wrote that down and why. 

And, since I haven’t mentioned many books lately . . .  I’ve been reading (and in some cases rereading) many of the Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout.  While they are a bit (ok, a lot) noir, I really like them.  They’re good mysteries, entertaining, blood doesn’t drip off the pages.  The first book was written in 1934, Fer-de-Lance and the last one was written in 1985, Death Times Three.  Something I noticed - Neither Nero, his #1 factotum Archie Goodwin, or anyone else involved with them (Fritz Brenner, Theodore Horstmann, Saul Panzer, Inspector Cramer, Sergeant Purley Stebbins, Lon Cohen, Lily Rowan, et al) NEVER AGE.  The books are all written in current time and do show changes to landscape and society but no one ages.  It works so very well.

Nada much else going on here. . . .

ps: I wrote this Thursday and planned to get it up yesterday but I had a cat insisting he should sit on my arm, the keyboard, lap and gave it up as “not happening”.  So here it is today.


25 Mar 2021

Monday, March 15, 2021

Stuff and Nonsense


Well – I finished the paint project.

There it is – a nice shiny black.

And, here it is in the kitchen.

Daylight Savings Time started this past weekend.  Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh!!  I don’t care too much for DST.  Being a morning person, I want it to be light by 6:30am, when I get up.  And, I’d like to know who, at least here in my part of Texas, goes outside to enjoy the 98+° heat during the 5 summer months we have any time after 8am!  Nope, nope, nope – should be getting dark by 7:30pm latest. 

March has, so far, lived up to its “come in like a lion” reputation.  It has been windy for the past two weeks.  And, I think the next two are supposed to be rainy.  

On another note – some of my plants are beginning to come back from THE IRON WINTER OF 2021.  The Star Jasmine is putting out new leaves, as well as the Mallows.  The Confederate Rose is coming back from the root.  Still nothing happening with the other baby trees I planted last September but, it’s early still. 

And, this little guy has bloomed – first time ever!  I’m not totally sure what this is though it may be Senecio longiformos or Paintbrush Flower.

On to the Nonsense part

This week you can celebrate . . . .

Turkey Vultures Return to the Living Sign

I had to look it up.  It seems that the Living Sign is a sign that spells out “Canisteo” (as in Canisteo, NY) using 250 trees on a ridge above the town.  And, traditionally turkey vultures return there on or around St. Patrick’s Day. 

I guess better there than downtown.

Shakespeare Week

This week take some time and read your favorite Shakespeare couplet.  Here’s mine . .

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver’d in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Finally, today we can all celebrate . . .

Brutus Day

again – I had to look it up.

Brutus Day aims to promote recognition of the fact that betrayal, backstabbing and dirty politics aren’t by any means a thing of the past, and are as widespread and tactical in our modern, corporate and political lives as they were in the forums of ancient Rome. Watch your back, avoid office politics, and look out for your friends!

Ides of March

Just a bit of possibly useless information - the ancient Romans didn’t number their calendar days in order from the first of the month to the last. Instead, they counted backward in relation to three days: the calends, nones, and ides.  The Roman general and statesmen Julius Caesar was assassinated by conspiring senators, including Marcus Brutus (hence it being Brutus Day also), on March 15 in 44 BCE.  Caesar had become a dictator after causing a civil war.  His rule, and murder, ended the Roman republic—and changed the course of history.  Shakespeare (ah – Shakespeare Week also) dramatized the assassination of Julius Caesar in his play.  Early in the play, a soothsayer warns Caesar to “Beware the ides of March”.   

So, today is considered by many to be a doom day, an unlucky day, and certainly a day to take care. 


15 March 2021

Saturday, March 13, 2021



There are few things in this world of which I am absolutely certain.  Mostly - - - I’m pretty flexible in my thinking.  However, of this there is no doubt -


I HATE TO PAINT for a number of reasons. 

1 I’m not really very good at it. 

2 The prep work takes as long to get done as the painting job itself. 

3 No matter how careful I am, I always get paint all over me AND all over other things NOT being painted. 

And, as I’ve gotten older,

4 My back always hurts about halfway through the job and it’s quit or have to crawl out of the room on hands and knees.

Recently I found a single white metal cabinet the perfect size and height to go next to my kitchen counter.  Extends the counter space (always a good thing) and gives me an extra drawer and cabinet space (another good thing).  It was rusted in a few places, paint peeling in a few more but exactly what I was looking for. 

Now, my kitchen appliances are, for god-only-knows-why, black. 

side note here:  appliances are supposed to be white.  I’m pretty sure there’s a rule about that somewhere.  They are not supposed to be black.

The counter tops are a black/white swirl.  So, I decided to paint the new cabinet a glossy black.  It should fit in with the appliances and pick up the counter top - - right?

Don’t tell me no – I don’t want to hear that.

Went to the paint store and explained to the guy what I needed, why I needed it, and how much I HATE TO PAINT.  The guy at the paint store has no sense of humor.  When I asked about what type of brush – he suggested a roller.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha snort, giggle sighhhhhh

Using a roller - not only would I have paint all over me, there would be paint on every single thing in the room where the job would be done.  No, no roller.  Then, he picked out a glossy black paint that is oil based.  You know – the type you cannot clean up with using soap and water.  The kind you need mineral spirits to clean up with.  And, a $10 paint brush.  Did I want mineral spirits too, he asked. 

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha snort, giggle sighhhhhh

No thanks.  I’ll go to Walmart and get half a dozen $1 throw-a-way brushes. 

So, here it is – in process.  I’ll post another picture when it’s finished.  Not today.  Probably not tomorrow but hopefully in the foreseeable future.


I’ve spent much of this past week working in the yard at the “house-for-sale” in town.  Of course, everything froze.  And, since it is the “house-for-sale” I figured I needed to get the yards looking at least presentable rather than horrifying.  So, I cut back what should be cut back, left a few things I’m not certain about yet, and generally cleaned up both front and back yards.

side note:  My apple watch lies. After spending four hours cutting back things and carrying it all to a trash pile for city pick-up, the watch tried telling me I’d only walked 3 miles.  It lied!  I’m sure I walked at least 10, probably 15 miles!

Then, I started on the yard and plants at the new house.

Anyway – yard work has, once again, kept me so busy that by the time I crawl back into the house, I’m past tired and moving quickly into tired-and-unable-to-think-talk-walk.  I have been going to bed at 8:30pm because, I'm too tired to sit-up.  Honest-to-god - I think I'm getting old!

I tell you this to explain my sporadic blogging/reading but I will be caught up 

one day,

one day soon.

I hope.


13 Mar 2021


Friday, March 5, 2021

… and things that go bump in the night.


A Story
About ghosties, and ghoulies, and . . . .

Last night was a weird one.

I’d had a very frustrating and stressful afternoon with the HVAC system and changing the filter – so frustrating that I’d finally called my sister to come over and help me.  It was that or throw the damn thing into the street, jump up and down on it for a while, kick it around and leave it for the lions, tigers, and bears. 

She helped me get the problem sorted out.

Afterward, I spent the evening completely tearing out a week’s worth of bead work on a new project.  Grrrrrrr.

Obviously, not a pleasant, fun evening.

Finally, I decided to just give it all up and go to bed.

Now, these days, both cats sleep with me.  Zack comes to bed when I do; Daryl comes in a little later.

And, so I got settled in bed with a large cat right next to me.  As I lay there, I heard something that sounded like the storm door rattling. 


Now, I don’t know about you, but I tend to have conversations with myself.  One side of my brain – the Logic side – said – it’s nothing, go to sleep.  The other side – the Adventure side – said – we should check it out.

I sided with Logic.

Time passed.  I felt Daryl come in and snuggle into the bed, me, his brother.  Then, I heard an odd noise.  Like something slid across the floor or counter top.  Turned over and looked to see both cats, heads up, looking toward the hallway.

Once again – Logic said – nothing, go back to sleep.  Adventure said – check it out!!!!

Again, I sided with Logic.

And, as I was settling down into the pillow, the blankets, getting comfy, I heard

something / someone giggle.

Looked at both cats.  They were up and peering intently down the short hallway to the dark kitchen and living room.

Ok, Adventure won.

I got up.  And, turning on every light switch as I went, checked out the house.

There wasn’t anything there of course. 

My last thought before sleep -

Damn!  They’ve found me!


5 Mar 2021

Monday, March 1, 2021

Things – Normal and Odd(ish)


I think I’ve figured out the problem with our weather –

1 The Universal Thermostat is broken and needs a competent repair person


2 The Whoever Controls-the-Thermostat is broken and needs to be replaced



Honestly – a solid week of freezing temperatures, with snow!

Then, a whole week of spring

and, while I’d like to say it looked like this …

Everything actually looked like this.

And, finally, today and this week 

I thought every day last week about sitting down at the computer and saying hello to everyone, however . . . I thought it as I walked outside to do something in the springtime.  

Mostly, I moved my plants out of the dark shed and into whatever shade I could find.  Gave everything a good drink of water.  Uncovered everything I had covered.  Decided what froze and died-forever and what froze but will-come-back.  Cleaned up my shed so that it looks like a storage shed for tools and other outside stuff.  Put away the heaters.  Repotted a few things and started planning my yard makeover.  

By the time I crawled back into the house - sitting upright and thinking were no longer an option.

Honestly, couldn’t have accomplished nearly as much without the help of my SA granddaughter who came over for the weekend.

I always think cold weather is going to put a hit on the weeds.

Yeah – that would be a big N-O.  See all the brown stuff – that’s the grass. 

See all the green stuff – weeds.  Argh!

But, I feel assured spring is here.  Know why?

No, not because the flowers are blooming or the trees are budding out.

The seed catalogues are arriving! 

I love to look at seed catalogues.  I seldom buy anything but I am always tempted.  The problem, of course, is that I'm tempted by pretty pictures of things that WILL NOT GROW HERE IN OUR HUMIDITY AND HEAT!  Not that I haven't tried to convince many things that this is somewhere else and it should grow, bloom, look like the catalogue, but . . . no, never works.

During the move, I seem to have lost several things.  And, that’s odd considering the process of this move.

One of the lost items was my birdfeeder so I had to get another one.

It’s hung on a hook just off my front deck and in front of a window so the boys can watch all the birdies.  And, watch them, they do.  Me too.

So far, we’ve seen

House Finches






a female Painted Bunting

Keeping an eye out for the male.

Today is March 1, also called Hlyd monath which means Stormy month, or Hraed monath which means Rugged month.  Yes – we’re having some of that today.  And, March 1 “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” – yes, we’re having that too.

And finally, It’s National Pig Day!

So, Did You Know?

A pig’s squeal can reach 115 decibels, which is 3 decibels above a supersonic jet!

Pigs have 15,000 taste buds compared to the 9,000 of a human being.

Pigs can run up to 11 miles per hour.

Pigs can drink up to 14 gallons of water per day.

Pigs communicate with each other using 20 different vocalizations.


1 March 2021