Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bird House Boot

A friend has loaned me his BIG blue bootie for awhile. It helps in that it doesn't allow me to "torque" the leg but my posture has gone all a'squizzle so my back is sort of grumpy. I only wear the BBB when I have to stand for hours (at work). My days off have been spent on the couch with the leg up on a pillow and my mind in a book so the house is being taken over by dust bunnies and assorted fur balls. The yard is a disaster. I have managed to hobble out to keep the bird feeders full though. What a wonderful month it has been for bird watching from my windows!
We are in dire need of rain however. A record dry January is not a good thing. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Phoebe (and Dawson, but mostly Phoebe)

Three years ago, the day after Thanksgiving, my brother, a friend of his, and I went to Consumnes River Preserve to see the Sand Hill Cranes. We stopped at their lovely covered shelter/office building to have our lunch and watched a little blond dog wander from human group to human group. I had recently lost my Doberman, Ruby, to a neurological disease and really wasn't ready for a new dog. Besides, this dog was anything but a Doberman, which, other than their lousy health issues, is my favorite breed.
"I wonder if she has been dumped?" mused my brother's friend. "Kinda looks that way" said I. The Brother suggested we ask the staff inside the office. They said "Yes. It happens often. She
was here when we got here early this morning. We'll lock her in the barn tonight and have Animal Control pick her up in the morning." 'Um, No you won't." I said. "I'll take her. But here's my name and number in case someone comes looking for her." I never heard from them.

A week or two later I took her to the vet, had her checked for an identification chip, which she didn't have, but does now, and made arrangements for her vaccinations and spaying. The rest is history.

Someone sent me a fwd. that they had received and I will share the gist of it with you;

Dear Whomever, Wherever,

You lost a dog, I don't know how. Or maybe you died, or just gave her up, I don't know which but I do know that she was somebody's.\ pet. She had (and has) boundless energy, never met a human that she didn't like, and knew the basic commands. She was just coming into her first heat and perhaps that was the reason she was abandoned. I doubt that she just wandered off because she is very loyal. She was never mistreated, of that I am positive.

She appears to be Dingo and Labrador Retriever. In truth, I think she is a reincarnated palomino cutting horse.

Whatever she is, she is loved. She is safe, warm and vocal. She plays well with others. She is learning not to jump up on people. She gets along well, and has from the start I might add, with the chickens, the cat, big people, little people, and deer, which she does not chase. She will chase squirrels and the stray cats and has never caught either. She is not the Great Mole Slayer that Ruby was but has been known to dispatch moles and rats.

So I just want you to know, whomever you are, that the little blond dog that I'm sure you loved at some point and which you lost for whatever reasons, is very much loved in her new home. Posted by Picasa


in reference to the story below;

Of course, with me on the ladder which was on the broken pole, we were all pretty much flat on the ground. ;>) the post has sprung back up...more or less. Posted by Picasa

Ms Klutzmeister, here

See the nice birdhouse atop the sturdy 4 x 4 pole? Well, I was watching an oak titmouse fly into and out of it recently and wondered if the Mr. had ever convinced the Mrs that it was a great home. The house has been there for at least 2 years and the last time I'd checked, had not been used. Curiosity got the better of me Friday afternoon so I hauled a ladder over to the post and instead of opening the ladder up so as to have four solid feet on the ground, I opted to simply lean the ladder against the post. Post wobbled a bit. "Hmm", I thought. "Must be kinda loose in the damp soil. Probably shouldn't do this." But I shinnied up the ladder anyway, opened the birdhouse, and had just removed the nest (voila!) when there was a loud CRACK!
Then the post, the ladder, the birdhouse and I all went down. Fortunately, an ancient (and not plugged in) electric line made the descent a slow motion event. However, the side of my right leg met up with an olive log and that did elicit a yelp. It took me a few seconds to get up...taking a mental inventory of what parts still worked, if anything was bleeding, if anything else was going to fall...and by then the adrenalin shakes had begun. Did manage to rise...half the brain insisting that I "go directly to the house, put ice on the leg, put the leg on a pillow, take some Ibuprofen!" while the other half of the brain said "where in the heck did the birdnest go? Pick up the bird house! Try to stand the 4 x 4 back up, put the ladder away!" Eventually, all the above were dealt with. Yesterday the leg limped into a Doc-in-A-Box. (and yes, I was still with the aforementioned leg) Note; DO use one of those emergency clinics. You will still have a long wait but the clientel seems to be more of the "injury" sort than the "hacking, coughing, barfing" sort that were at the hospital's E.R. and which made me turn around before entering. I'd rather have an untreated broken leg than be subjected to the germ warfare that was going on there! The jury is still out on my fibula. Since I have no health insurance, the nice Dr. held off on the x-ray. He did poke and prod and ask lots of questions. I especially liked the part when he told me to "stay off ladders! No gutter cleaning, no bird house checking..." IF the leg isn't feeling any better by Tuesday, I will hobble back in for the x-ray(s). I may have just bruised the heck out of the ligaments and muscles. There is no external bruising. My friend, Karen, who had just gotten out of the hospital herself the night before (having had every test known to man and been pronounced disgustingly healthy), not only played taxi for me yesterday but also bbq'd a chicken, which she brought by later..along with an avocado and some pork n beans! I am so very blessed with wonderful friends! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 14, 2007

after another cold night

These are the same camellias I "shot" yesterday. They are not as perky today. Looking a wee bit jaundiced now, don't you think? Phoebe and I took a short walk this morning. The sunshine was bright but we both came home with freezer burns on our noses thanks to the breeze and subsequent wind chill. Before we left, I whacked the ice on her water took more than one whack! I really didn't expect the ice to be an inch thick! This is Sac. County after all, not Klamath Friggin' Falls. Ok. So the ice on the water troughs up there was 4" to 6" thick and the temperature was well below freezing the winter that I am currently remembering. That was the winter that I learned I could split wood easily if I thought of my ex and that if kindling was needed, I'd just think of the "lady" he ran off with. It worked like a charm. My dad died that winter too. It was a very sucky year.

We need to change the subject now. Posted by Picasa


Last fall this little collection of plantings was looking pretty lush and vibrant. They all live beneath the canopy of a date palm and are in close proximity to the house. Therefore, they usually winter just fine, thank-you-very-much.

However, since we are having weather that reminds me too much of Klamath Friggin' Falls, and for more days in a row than we care to remember, the plants are no longer happy campers. The euphorbia to the far rt. is a total loss. The Jacobinia will return to its former glory as will the Bird of Paradise, but the potted fuschias are history. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Its colder than a banker's heart! Oh. Wait. Bankers don't have hearts. Sometimes I forget. It was cold enough last night to to turn the Princess Bush into the Dilapidated Dungeon Damsel. Since the sun had gone to bed by the time I got home from work, I have no idea (but a good guess) as to what the citrus trees look like. What a shame. (yeah, I'm guessing they were given the evil eye by Jack Frost) The kumquat had the biggest crop in years on it. The camera and I will wander out to look at the carnage in the morning. The thermometer claims 28* out at 9:00pm. The cat is not into playing his usual "I'm on the wrong side of the door!" game this evening. He made a stab at it but decided to stay inside after the third time out. The dog is sweetly warming my side of the bed. WHAT a good dog!

Friday, January 12, 2007


See? Carman! If I didn't have compost for brains, I would have figured out how to put him at the bottom of the next entry. (which, of course, is the last entry) Anyhow, He will eventually get a pot the right size for his head and..well, several pots perhaps. He can just be a pot-head! The plants can be changed according to his perceived moods. (oh I can just hear the naughty thoughts out there!) ok, I'm game. Suggestions? Posted by Picasa

A very cold 01-120-07

"They" say that it will be even colder tomorrow. The thermometer on the olive tree states 34 degrees. It is 4:00pm and there is a breeze a'blowin'. This is cold for the Sacramento area. Some things that haven't turned into piles of smush are blooming grandly. Too bad I can't remember the names of Mom's camellias. (My brain has been dipping into the River of Forgetfullness rather often lately. yikes!) The lemon bushes and the kumquat tree are looking not too happy but I'm hoping that the bumper crop of the latter doesn't turn into compost before its even picked. Should probably go pick all the Meyer lemons as they are simply too tasty to waste.

The bird feeder in Phoebe-dog's yard is still playing host to a herd of dark-eyed juncos, white-crowned and golden-crowned sparrows, house finches, titmice, the California towhee and the two spotted towhees, and there was a hermit thrush in the bushes yesterday. Also noted recently were a robin and a varied thrush. Now a mourning dove has discovered the treat. It hasn't been seen ON the feeder tray YET, but has been foraging on the ground and perching on the edge of the birdbath. With any luck, it is a solitary dove who will be stingy about spreading the news because on the other side of the house, there are at least 20 of its cousins. Also on the other side of the house are the gold finch. There are mostly American goldfinch but there are a few lesser goldfinch amongst them. There have been several ruby-crowned kinglets flitting about and throngs of Audubon warblers. There are three scrub jays eating the squirrels' corn cobs, 5 Magpies keeping guard in the tops of the sycamores, and the lone oh my gosh, is it the red tail or the red shouldered hawk?...sorry, the mind is gone... who wakes up in the topmost branches of the Liriodendron tulipifera some mornings. The four hummingbird feeders require regular re-filling. The Anna's have me pretty well trained now. During the warm months, the necter needs to be changed every three days just to keep it fresh and the birds healthy. Usually it can go a week in the cold months. However, these guys n' gals are gulping down each 8 ounce offering in three days, 52 weeks a year now.

The darn deer are still refusing to eat the acres of chasmanthe.
Most of the succulents are inside the house now. The collection has amassed mostly over the past year so I am not jaded yet and therefore do not wish to lose any. If only I would remember to plant the hardiest ones in the ground, and the tender ones in pots..instead of mixing them all up in pots! Most winters it isn't much of an issue. Hey! I bought a severed man's head at Target today! Yes! He's made out of that light weight stuff that looks like cement and a youthful face graces the front of his empty head...typical guy thing.. At the moment he's got a blooming pot of pink Christmas cactus for brains. He rather looks like Carman Miranda! Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Sure do wish that deer would eat Chasmanthe.
Both of my mowers are out of commission at the moment or I'd be out there whacking the stuff down. Problem is, I never know what might be hiding in it...which is precisely why mower #2 is out of commission. It tried to eat a pile of hidden rocks.
This young buck is not Buckly, the 4-point buck who laid around here for a week this fall, but is a forked horn. The horns are hard to see..try clicking on the photo to make 'em bigger. We saw at least 20 of his relatives at Ancil Hoffman Park this weekend. there are probably another 60 that we didn't see. Posted by Picasa