Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Present

Christmas this year wasn't nearly as fancy as Christamases in the past; but it was pretty enjoyable nonetheless. Rather than spend hours doing back breaking amounts of dishes, everything went into the dishwasher. I do believe this is an invention that is worthy to be considered as one of the best things to civilize mankind. Don't you?

Christmas Past

In Christmas Past, the china would come out with the crystal and silver. Everything sparkled and was very special. This Christmas, only dishes and linens that could be washed by a machine were allowed. Most of the menu was made in advance: Lasagne, zucchini casserole, salad, minestrone soup. The steaks were the only things that needed to be cooked that day. The cold, rainy weather made it difficult to have everything ready on time. There was a bit of a delay due to the fire troubles and a nice long distance phone call from my son.

Even though it was a long day, everything seemed to turn out okay. Here's wishing the very best in 2009!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Merry Christmas

Do you go overboard at Christmas OR do you just enjoy the season? We don't exchange many gifts at all. Everyone comes over to enjoy great food, lively conversation, games, music, and a great time rather than exchange "stuff".
Hope your season is everything you need it to be.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cerberus doesn't mind the upheaval in the backyard. He kinda digs the digging. Some irrigation work has been completed. Tomorrow, finish carpentry on the pergola. After a long walk with the dog and some housework, I think I'm going to visit a local nursery. Nurseries and drug stores are about the only places I love to shop. Other than that, I don't care one bit about shopping.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This project has spun out of control. A tree has been removed. Stakes and string mark the extended patio and walkway. Gravel beds and vegetable garden are also marked. Don't forget the citrus trees! Espalier apples and apricots will form a fence between what remains of the lawn and the vegetable garden. E-I-E-I-O!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Man, this is taking a long time. The columns have finally had the concrete block and brick facing completed. Next step, final walkway. Then, the gravel can get combed out. When will I ever get to plant my wisteria?!

Monday, September 29, 2008


The gravel has arrived and the columns are getting brick facings. The weather is finally cooling down so that I might be able to think about planting wisteria that will grow up the columns.
At the rate construction has been moving, I'll be able to take advantage of bare roots sales in January!
Is bare root planting only a regional thing or do you also enjoy bare root planting?

Saturday, August 30, 2008


The roof of the pergola is complete. Next comes the west walkway on the left of the photo (The one with the flags.) The irrigation system will come next on the east side (right) followed by the east walkway. Brick will surround the bottom portion of the columns and gravel will fill the area under the pergola. There's horrible, awful clay junk dirt now. Only a select few plants or trees (aka weeds) are tough enough to grow in that stuff.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


The concrete forms are in place and the lumber is being erected to form the pergola. It will be amazing if anything can knock this down! The schedule didn't work out as planned in the previous post. The irrigation line and walk ways should come in after the structure has been completely erected.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


The concrete for the stairs and columns is in! Next week: sprinkler line installed and walkways set in concrete.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


The framework is complete for the pergola. Concrete is coming tomorrow. Follow along here. I'll try to take an image from the same angle to chronicle the progress.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Little Specks

Today reminded me that we humans are just dinky specks on the Earth's crust. How arrogant we are to think that we impact the environment so enormously. The earthquake here in California was similar to a dog shaking after/during a bath. Flip. Flop. We're just specks. I'm such a cynic; but I'm convinced that the whole "Green" movement and "Global Warming" blather is nothing more than marketing. Most people are following along like guilty sheep. Don't get me wrong. I don't like waste; but so many people seem like such chumps. Nonetheless, I enjoy earthquakes (I know - FREAK) and am glad no one was hurt during the free roller coaster ride.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


There's a cute contest over at Curlywurlygurly’s Weblog. It's a pretty clever idea of having some fun with M&Ms. I never win a contest; but maybe you will. Thanks to Chronicles of a Country Girl for the tip.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Yipee! Skippee! I got a nice, beefy promotion today. Dang it. That kind of event certainly helps self esteem move up a notch or two.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


My favorite candy is Rowntree Table Jellies. My granny would send me these in parcels from Scotland along with pastilles and Edinburgh Rock (sugar and spice!).
What's your favorite candy?

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I can't stand silicone potholders. This is what I currently have in my kitchen. I'm ready to return to the old fashioned kind. Geez - even a crocheted one would float my boat.

My fingers have been singed more times using these flippy-floppy things.

What kind do you recommend?

Saturday, July 12, 2008


We're starting construction of a pergola next week to extend our patio and replace some shade we need after removing a tree. Grape vines would grow great there with tons of sun. I was thinking of red flame grapes; but I'm afraid it will get too messy from birds and dropped fruit. I love grapes and most especially love when the leaves change colors. My second choice (and probably the winner) is wisteria. Although it usually only blooms once in the spring, I am now getting a second bloom.

Does anyone have vine suggestions for hot, dry Bakersfield, California (Zone 8-9)?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hades Has Been Unleashed

Holy Hot Dog it's hot! My car thermometer read 112 this afternoon. The hottest car thermometer reading I ever saw was driving into Las Vegas from St. George on a September afternoon. 126! I thought my tires were going to melt to the road. Come on October. Summer is killing me.

How hot is it wherever you're sipping lemonade?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

4th of July

I was all set for hot dogs, Ruffles, baked beans and ice cream. Sure we'll have vegetables like salad, corn on the cob, and fruit like berries and melons. But I wanted the hot dogs, Ruffles, and baked beans. (The ice cream stays regardless.) I was overruled in our home. The menu will be shish kabobs, rice pilaf, and salad. Corn on the cob, thankfully, gets to stay. I say the majority living in my house are all terrorists, communists, or just hate American and all it stands for. Sheesh. I'll be fine. I'll slap those dogs on the BBQ sometime over the weekend. Meantime, if the FBI is scanning this blog you might want to take a closer look at those coming to my place on the 4th. I question their patriotism.

Whats on your menu for the 4th?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

And Heaven Continues

I'm still in my grungy clothes from this morning because I don't have to look presentable. It's just me and the dog hanging out. We went for a long walk this morning before it got too hot. He wore himself out digging for gophers while I did most of the walking. When we got back he hit the shower (hose) and I gave him a bath. He actually stood there and wanted me to keep going just to keep him cool I suppose. Then I started irrigating and noticed the windows were disgusting. I enjoy clean windows; so I took on the job. My dog had cooled down enough to have his late breakfast (roasted chicken & Eukanuba). Laundring rags and rugs went on while I puttered around the house. I know it's still housework; but I enjoy it so much more when I'm doing it at my pace and however I want. I never notice my neighbors cleaning their windows. I wonder if they ever do. How often to you clean your windows?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Home Alone

Ever get to have the entire house to yourself? Husband's gone. No kids around...just you and the animals to do or not do whatever you want. This is a rare and much loved treat. Somehow the house remains clean, the laundry doesn't pile up, and there's not a dirty dish in sight. Ah, heaven.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Local History

I'm interested in local, quirky history. Perhaps I'm getting old enough to where my memories are history. Old photos are most interesting even if there is no description. The local library and museum are sources for those photos; but their online collection is a bit limited. Flickr sometimes is another good source. I would like to know if anyone has suggestions of other sources for historical photos or local history (Kern County, California).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


What's the best tomato to grow in a hot, dry climate? Something that tastes great and doesn't need tons of maintenance. Currently, I'm growing Health Kick, Sun King, and Brandi wine. Health Kick is kicking the competition to the curb. Although the fruit is small (not cherry like), I'm getting plenty of fruit setting once the weather screamed into the 100s. Brandi wine seems to be struggling. There's only a few tomatoes and the plant is very leggy. Maybe that's how it's supposed to be.

Anyway, I'm looking to get a couple more plants to last through the end of summer (October here - yuck) and would like any recommendations. Plus, I'm trying out this whole blogging thing. There's only room for improvement here.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I must not be very inspired to set this blog thing up. My photos have been coming along nicely along with my Photoshop tutorials. I'll try to get back to this; but my back won't allow me to sit at the computer for very long.

Any suggetions for a laptop? Main use is for photography/photoshop, internet/emails.