Monday, January 28, 2008

my mind is a mosaic

Thoughts and ideas just jump around in my head like popcorn in a microwave. The trick is to get them to settle long enough to DO something with them! Towards that goal, I have recently purchased two books on making mosaics and have even gone so far as to purchase this really cool tool for cutting them. (The guy made it look so EASY!)
The "trick" seems to be in scoring the tile. If you don't score it deep enough you get the mess in the first photo. But I'm hoping that with more practice the tiles will break more evenly. See? The second try (or maybe that was the 3rd and 4th) resulted in almost straight lines. I haven't tried it on glass yet. Luckily there is an abundance of this light blue tile at my beck and call...all of which used to wrap around the bath tub. Well, not around the bath tub, but the walls. Oh you know! Tub enclosure?
I made a quick dash into a Home Depot today just to see if they had any interesting tiles and came up with these 4. Also discovered that you can buy 4" x 4" sheets of already cut (1/2 x 1/2 inch cute little guys), very pretty opaque tiles in lovely hues for $4.99 or thereabouts. I behaved myself and didn't buy I'll remember them if I ever get inspired enough to settle on a design and an object on which to put it. I know it would help if I'd take a class...
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 27, 2008

winter's morning light

Since there was a break in the rain early this morning I ran out in my fuzzy slippers to take a couple of pictures. Did quite a number on the slippers. Nice that they are washable! But the lighting was just so interesting that soiled slippers weren't an issue.
This one didn't turn out as well as hoped for. The line of light was absolutely golden on that big limb. An hour or two later the rains returned. We are getting very soggy here. There is a bit of wind but the Cedar tree is not letting go of its toe-hold on Madagascar.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cedar tree

I just blogged about the saga of the cedar tree but apparantly my words & pictures floated up, up, and away, never to be seen again. Attempt # 2. This cedar tree must have a tap root firmly wrapped around the toe of Madagascar because it simply refused to go down. Eons (ok, years) ago, Mom had somebody top the tree because its habit of leaning worried her so. Naturally, topping it made it grow FOUR new tops. These have to be heavier than one, right?
It is fun to stand up wind from the tree and watch the ground heave when the wind blows. I don't know why it won't give up. We are currently having winds in the 20 to 30 mph range but the forecasters say there will be gusts up to 50 mph tonight. Granted, nothing like the winds of two weeks ago when the gusts hit 70 mph....but this round comes with the earth much more saturated by rain...If the tree goes down on my watch (rather than on that of the developer's because he'll cheat with heavy machinery) it will severly prune an olive and a persimmon tree and probably squash a young Thuja flat. ok. let's hit "publish" and see what happens.
Posted by Picasa

Dawson & Phoebe

This is Dawson. He would much rather be outside, emptying the bird feeders, if you get my drift. This is not an option for him so he pretty much sleeps all day and then hunts for four-footed gray things with long naked tails at night when he is allowed to go outside.
This is Phoebe giving Dawson "neck nibbles". The bluriness is more from the vibrations of the neck nibbles than due to the fact the cat was moving his head. They do this a lot.
Someties Dawson has had enough. Mind you, moments before this was taken, he was licking Phoebe's face in the sweetest pussycat way.
And then, they're done.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 20, 2008


We found colorful tomato cages in, of all places, Rugby, ND last June. Much as I wanted some, there didn't seem to be a practical way to bring them home via train and plane, but gee, surely one could find them in Sacramento!? NOT!
However, leave it to the wonderful ordering person (her name is Cheryl and no its not me) at Windmill Nursery in Carmichael, CA., they're here now! The ONLY reason I didn't purchase one (or 2 or 6) today was because I couldn't decide upon the color and 6 weren't in my budget even though they are only $16.49 each. Pretty sure that fuschia one will be #1 on my list.
Posted by Picasa

dumpster fun

This was rescued from the dumpster at work last week. When my brother and I were kids, our folks sold olives to Orsi Brothers and took some payment in big tins of olive oil, similar to this. Unfortunately, there are none of those tins left. However, this one evokes the memories
AND serves a useful purpose! This is a baby olive tree from the orchard our parents bought 2.5 acres of in 1938. The parent trees have to be near 100 years old. This means nothing to the fellow who plans to develope this property but it does to us so I keep digging up babies and potting them up for the grandkids who want them. My son's tree even produced an olive this year and he lives in Portland! Ok, so the tree is still in a pot and its a house plant in the winter, but still.
Posted by Picasa

soon-to-be-succulent pot

This was on the clearance shelf at Michael's recently and I knew I'd kick myself if I didn't fork over the $5.00 and change to own it.
The Christmas design was just not condusive to year-round display so a little spray paint was applied and voila!
After it had spent 48 hrs in the house I took it back outside for a coat of clear spray and look what happened! These little webs popped out all over like an attack of varicose veins! Was it because the air was so cold? Actually, the clear spray had been out in the shed so was not at the optimum 60°. The cup was warm but the spray was cold? It isn't the look I was going for but I do like it. Do you suppose the paint will chip off in the textured places now? I'll let you know what happens when it dries.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 14, 2008

I wish they'd eat Chasmanthe!

Posted by Picasa

blooming surprises

The Tillandsia produced not one but three flowers! That may be common. I wouldn't know as this is my first one. Here's another first

for me; The Venus fly trap has sent up a flower stalk!
And I really don't remember the String of Pearls blooming for me before...probably because they usually die first. This one is thriving on neglect. It is hanging under the Bonsai-on-steroids, aka Juniper, and just as happy as if it had good sense.
Posted by Picasa

Pruned-by-Deer maybe not so bad!

Last fall Bambi and family dined on this Aeonium, removing all the nice, fat rosettes but leaving one tiny one. So it came into the house
for R & R and just look at it now! TWO rosettes on each stalk. Of all the succulents I have out there, this is the only one they seemed to taste. (unless I'm forgetting what WAS in that green pot anyway..?)
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Gotta love Trader Joe's! Not only do they sell yummy food at delicious prices but also orchids! This little gal was only $7.99 and since I've had such good luck with the white Phalaenopsis, it simply seemed logical to get another one! The hardest part was deciding on the color since there were so many to choose from. According to the plant tag, she came from Matsui Nursery, Inc in Salinas, CA.
This is her big sister. No, cousin. This one will have 4" white blooms with a touch of magenta. Being new to the orchids, I am just amazed that she only lost her last blossom about 8 weeks ago..and it had been on the plant for months! These things are incredible! I have not given her any fert in the 2 years she's been with me...not on purpose but because my Teflon brain cell can't remember to do so. And in spite of what the "directions" say, she has done quite well in temperatures much lower than suggested.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 05, 2008

try this again

I just blogged words with these very same pictures, hit the "post" button and off they sailed into outer space, never to be seen again. ha-HA! I'll just try again! Anybody need free firewood?
We wonder how many years this nail has been embedded in this tree's trunk. Its amazing that the chainsaw cut just a tight smidgeon above it. Anyone want to count the rings on this and let us all know how hold the tree is? We know its over 75 years.
All we need are two 8' 2x4's, one new fence board, a handfull of screws, a couple of gizmos, and the electric screwer-inner and voila!
Posted by Picasa

The storm, Part 3

My Knight in Soggy Armor and his Fair Damsel came to the rescue! My brother was busy on the end of a saw too. If we all had neighbors like Larry & Jan, and if we'd all BE neighbors like Larry & Jan, what a fine world this would be! Naturally it absolutely poured on us for the, hey, did anybody happen to note just how long we we were out there?..entire time and the rain stopped the moment we were done. All of us absolutely soaked to the marrow.
(that's my brother peeking from behind the debris) Olive wood is very, very dense and very, very heavy so even though the tree came slowly down on the house, it DID do some damage. However, after looking at local damage photos, and seeing what happened at some other neighbors' houses, WE WERE REALLY LUCKY! The occupants have reported no leaking and the owner of the home did not faint dead away when she came by to inspect the situation. There are, of course, some repairs that need to be made to the house as well as the replacement of ONE 8' section of fence. There were only a couple of broken boards and a bent doohickey. Fence repair will be easy.
THIS fence repair will be easy. Jeff used screws instead of nails....the only way to go! That other 30' of crummy fence, on the other side of the property, is made of cheap green lumber and nails. I'm hoping we can just prop it up.
There is an entire tree, in parts, that will need to be disposed of. Anybody want some free firewood for next year?
Posted by Picasa

Olive trees

Its kinda fun stepping on these. They don't make quite the satisfying crunch as a snail, but they do smell nice. Tracking them into the house is not cool. Especially if you have carpeting. I have hardwood floors. Still, purple olive glop is not so very attractive.
This is the sort of thing that makes one not like olive trees so very much. Granted, had they been pruned on a regular basis, this wouldn't be such an issue. Meanwhile, I can't seem to round up a crew to help me get my tree off the neighbors' house. Everyone with a chainsaw is busy either cleaning up their own mess or were already spoken for. And now, its raining again. I'm trying not to cry.
Posted by Picasa