Friday, December 12, 2014

Scary Donald (and More!)

We recently bought a chainsaw, so Donald ordered some protective gear to wear while using it:

Donald in Chainsaw Gear

Luna wasn't too sure about that creepy helmet with the face shield...

Luna & "Scary" Donald

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I've sniffed out a few more stinkhorn mushrooms since the first one, but so far, it's not too bad.  Maybe we did a good job removing them last year, and this season won't be as stinky as feared!

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Psst!
I'm not blogging here much, these days, as you may have noticed.
The more active blog, at the moment, is over here.  Be warned, it's mostly crafts-oriented.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

IT HAS BEGUN.

This morning, at approximately 10:20 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time), I smelled, located, and disposed of the first fully formed stinkhorn mushroom of the season. 

Now issuing BOLO for more of the same, in and around yard. 

This is not a test.  I repeat, THIS IS NOT A TEST.

All offending fungi should be approached and handled with utmost care and disposed of in a sealed garbage can.  Be aware that touching the stinkhorn with bare flesh is extremely unwise, unless you want to smell like a rotting carcass. 

(Happy Thanksgiving a day early, fellow Americans.)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Garden Plans

The cool season is here!
Time to start putting garden plans into action...

Done:
-- Pulled a lot of weeds.  (Still a few spots in need of attention, though.)
-- Planted the daylilies grown from seed.  (But I think I may want to transplant a few to a different location...)  They may not bloom until the summer after next, but it's an investment in the future. ;o) I'm contemplating starting another batch of seeds, next spring, but maybe it's better to focus on something other than daylilies, this time.  Want to crowd new beds with as many hardy plants as possible.  Goal: Cottage garden aesthetic.  More plants, less sun-exposed mulch.
-- Started mulching.  (Started.  Five wheelbarrow loads of pine straw.  Not willing to estimate how many more I need to gather.)

Next:
-- Continue mulching.
-- Burn weeds, dead plants, branches on burn-pile.
-- Plant remaining potted plants.
-- Transplant five daylilies (from back of flower bed).
-- Transplant two roses (from too-shady spot in front of patio).
-- Transplant iris and ginger lily into new beds.
-- Check hydrangea.  If layered branch has rooted, cut and transplant.
-- Remove sago palm pups.  (What to do with them?? Anyone want some?)
-- Finish putting stones into circular bed.
-- Paint flower pots.
-- Paint obelisk.
-- Assemble and paint sun dial.
-- Re-paint ivy box. (Another coat should do the job.)
-- Deal with Water Hose Situation.
-- Trim back evergreen shrubs in foundation planting.
-- Take down a few small trees around the yard.
-- And more, but that's enough to think about for now!

Projects on the Horizon:
-- Put in gravel pathways.
-- Replace section of fence (and gate).
-- Place old pavers for new small back porch patio area.
-- Repaint patio cover.
-- Arbor for main gate. (Probably won't get to it this cool season.)
-- Fix spigot by kitchen window.  (Warm weather project?)
-- Make permanent step for kitchen door.  (Warmer weather?)
-- Fix loose pavers on patio.  (Find root of problem, this time.)
 

Also, I fully expect this winter to bring another round of assault from the "stinkshrooms" (stinkhorn mushrooms, a.k.a. Devil's perfume bottle, a.k.a. demonbreath, a.k.a. parfum de carcass-- ok, I made up all the "a.k.a."s, but trust me, they stink!).  I've recently come across the tell-tale white mycelium (and in some cases even teensy tiny little "mushroom balls") in the pots of young daylilies and in at least one flower bed. They're gearing up.  It's only a matter of time.  I've removed the ones I've found, to the best of my ability, but I'm sure tiny bits got left behind-- and that's only the ones I happen to have found.  *sigh*  I guess the only thing to do is to steel myself for battle.


Friday, October 24, 2014

This Post Won't Matter in Five Months

Actually, this won't matter in five minutes.  But I'm gonna write about it anyway!  ;o)

Reactions to other people's reactions to "The News":

"Americans are so dumb!  NEWSFLASH: You're not going to die of Ebola! Stop panicking!!"
We know that.  Being interested in developments in the Ebola story is not the same as panicking.  It's only reasonable that people want to know what's happening-- including our country's plan for dealing with it.  Also, the cute comparisons of Ebola and the flu are everywhere.  We've seen them all, now.  You're not impressing anyone, so you can stop. 


"How come people only care about Ebola now that it's in the U.S.?  (Racists...)"
Of course people will pay more attention to a very deadly disease when it is in their own country than when it's contained to an entirely different continent.  That doesn't mean we don't care about the people in other places who are dealing with it-- but come on.  Are you really this dense-- or are you lying to yourself?


"People need to shut up about Renée Zellwegger's face!  Why can't you let women age in peace?!  This is all YOUR FAULT, Western society!!"
Does it "really matter"?  No.  Is R.Z. free to do whatever she wants to her own face?  Obviously.  But she's a famous actress, and as such, she's opened herself up to comment.  That said, few are saying that she's unattractive, now-- or even that she looks much older. ("Ewww!  She's not in her 20s anymore.  That's so gross!")  People are simply shocked that she doesn't look like herself.  Her face has completely changed-- and like it or not, that's kind of odd.  Especially since in the photos I've seen from just a year or so ago, she still looked very young.  It's just... strange for a woman (in this case, one who was known for a certain very distinctive look) to want to change her facial structure so drastically that she's no longer recognizable.  Maybe she had medical reasons for doing so.  Whatever her reasons, it's her right to make whatever changes she wanted-- but I'm not going to feel guilty for noticing and being confused by the transformation.  (I think it's sad that she no longer looks like herself.  She had an interesting face, and now that's gone.)


"Cis-gender this.  Cis-gender that."
(This one seems to have faded somewhat in the past couple of months.  For good, I hope.)
My only comment at the moment: UGH.  Go away-- and never come back.


"Slut shaming!  Plastic surgery shaming!"
Oh. My. Gosh.  Please!  Can this just stop?
I hadn't heard about "plastic surgery shaming" until today, but "slut shaming" has (sadly) been impossible to avoid for quite some time.

Believe it or not, I don't go around telling people that they should be ashamed of themselves for this, that, or the other.  It's not my place, I'm not that confrontational, and I don't want people telling me about the things I should be ashamed of.  (I am already aware of more than a few of them, thank you very much.)  However, I can't help but think that this "slut shaming" crap is a glaring example of the recent trend of thinking that no-one should be judged/shamed/blamed/held accountable for anything, ever.  (Unless they're accused of racism... or are politically or socially conservative...)  How dare you presume?!  You don't know me!  You don't know my life!

Judge not, lest ye be judged?  Yes, I know.  But I think most of us need to feel at least a little afraid of-- or at least worried about-- being "judged" by our fellow man (or God).  It's that bit of incentivizing kick-in-the-rear that keeps you from sliding into worse trouble.

But no.  You can't have people feeling ashamed of bad behavior.  You might hurt someone's feelings-- and you're no better than anyone else, anyway.  We're all just relatively intelligent animals in clothes, right?  Or-- wait... Maybe we're (mortal) gods, now?  I can't keep up... It gets confusing, sometimes.


...So... Is "slob shaming" a thing, yet?  'Cause that could save me a ton of housework...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Butterfly Eggs

We've seen a steady stream of butterflies-- bright orange Gulf fritillary butterflies-- visiting our passion flower vine.

I found a webpage full of helpful information on the subject of these "passion butterflies".  We went out to watch the butterflies (and verify if what I'd read was true), and sure enough, they do lay eggs on the ends of the tendrils!  They go from tendril to tendril, looking for the perfect spot.  If there's already an egg there, they move on to the next tendril. 

There are tons of eggs on that plant, now...

Gulf Fritillary Egg

The Spanish lavender (pinata lavender) is still going strong. After reading that it doesn't like heat and humidity, I wasn't sure how well it would last, but it's flourishing. I've really enjoyed it, this year, and am hopeful that it will survive overwintering in the garage. I plan to try rooting some cuttings, but I don't usually have luck with cuttings...

Spanish Lavender

The white clematis vines are giving us another flush of blooms. :o)

Clematis

And the roses are blooming...

Pink Roses

The Knock-Out roses really are knock-outs. Bloom after bloom, month after month. (No photos of those, this time...)

Now that the cool weather is finally here (after cruelly teasing us, then deserting us again), we've been trying to get a few things done outdoors.

I've been pulling weeds.  SO MANY WEEDS.  Piles and piles of them.  How did they grow so quickly?!  Particularly the aptly-named gripeweed (a.k.a. chamberbitter, stonebreaker, mimosa weed, Phyllanthus urinaria).  Ugh, that weed.  It's awful and I hate it.  Supposedly, it has all sorts of herbal/medicinal uses, and I've read that it's expensive to buy.  Ha!  If anyone wants some, please, come help yourself. ;o)

Then over the weekend, we took out a rotted fence post and put down a new one, which involved clearing some overgrown grass and pulling/attaching the fencing material.

Also, we started work on the round "stone bed" over the septic tank.  Took out the stones (as many as possible), put down old asphalt shingles to serve as a barrier, and put the stones back on top.  (Lesson: Stones work their way into soil with alarming speed, without some type of barrier in place.  Or at least these did.)  We still need more stones to finish the job, but it's much better already.

So much more to do!