Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tallying Up a Week of Neglect

"Aw... You missed me!" Big smile when I spotted the pretty pink blossoms of my re-blooming Orchid. She decided to flower while I was off on vacation.

First thing I do when I return home is race around to see who survived my favorite pair of house-sitting yahoos. As in my darling daughter and her cute as a button boyfriend who can somehow sit in my living room and watch tv without noticing my desperately thirsty flowers!

Shocking, I know, though they are fully capable of committing such heinous crimes...
Rats! R.I.P. dear Cymbidium.

This was a particularly challenging week for the flowers ~ indoors and out. One yahoo forgot to put the emergency brake on her car. It rolled down the hill and parked itself in my street garden!

I have not, as yet, tallied up all the damage though I can definitively say it's gonna cost her big time. As in a full summer of pro bono weeding. Plus, manual labor digging a new fish pond if the little Windflowers don't make a happy comeback.

Double rats! Huge apologies go out to my dehydrated indoor roses.

Success! I double bucketed this very special Azalea. She was treading water half the time I was gone.

Hot Tip: If your kids are in charge of indoor watering be sure you own a lot of Moth Orchids. Awfully hard to kill 'em...

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Saddle Sore-ority

"Age is a box people put you in. And, no good ever comes from living life like that." ~ K. Miller
This is Pam. My new mentor. 73 years old and the happiest cowgirl I've ever met! She rode farther, faster and held up better on our 5-day trail ride than me. We'd be well-served to follow her lead.

I survived my dream vacation! The Caballos del Sol 5-day trail ride, in northern Arizona. I've never been so cold, so tired, so sore... or, so happy. The Doc said not to go but what does he know? Releasing my inner cowgirl was good medicine!

Me and Meg. My beloved little mare had the time of her life. (Me, too!)
PS: This cowgirl get-up was NOT my idea.

During this long, grey winter I felt a little 'stuck.' Nothing working quite right. Illness. Boredom. As we inch ever closer to the 5th decade, I find myself surrounded by age-obsessed people. Turning 50. So very old. (Seriously?)

And, of course, that rubbed off on me. Even the bright blossoms of a re-blooming Orchid was hard-pressed to boost my spirits.
New friends, Nancy and Larry. Cowpokes extraordinaire.

But then I went on vacation with the horse. Met people, most older than me, who give new meaning to a life well-lived.

Which got me wondering why such things matter. What is age anyway? Other than one slightly inaccurate measure of all we've done and all the grand things left to do.

If we didn't know our real age, then I s'pose we'd guess our age at how old we feel. Like Pam (top photo) who, in many ways, is considerably younger than me.
More new friends: Earl (the horse,) Dacodah, Janet and Mike. Come September, we're meeting up in New Mexico to do this all over again.

After releasing my inner cowgirl, I'm way younger than I used to be. Way healthier. Happier. And, so tired I can barely type. :D
Coolest. Horse. Ever.

* It was just not possible to ride my bouncy little mare and take pics at that same time. But, I do have some gorgeous wildflower photos to share once I muster up the energy to unpack the camera.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Me, Of Little Faith

Tomorrow, I leave on my dream vacation. Earlier today, I was whining to Betty and the Garden Faerie about how it will most likely be less of a dream and more of a nightmare.

Imagine! A 5 day trail ride in the mountains of northern Arizona.

Away from the snow and the cold... Atop my beloved horse. Trotting through red rock canyons and pristine wilderness...

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

But... what of my butt? 
5 days in a saddle?? 
Do they even make Advil capsules that strong??
And, then there's this.

As my regular readers, oops, reader (Hi, Rod!) knows, I'm still trying to get over iron deficiency anemia. I'm no Energizer Bunny, right now.
Though that's the least of my concerns. I'll just be sitting on my arse. Atop a hard working horsie, hollering ooch, eech, ouch!

* To quote a favorite movie, "I'm '98% excited and 2% scared. Or, maybe it's the other way around."

Wish me luck. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays ~ Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, Ireland

Happy St. Patrick's Day
& Wordless Wednesday, too!

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Seeds and Such

Happy hour enthusiasts?
Or, avid gardeners in disguise?
I'm guessing gardeners!
Toasting the success of another wild and crazy... 
Seed Planting Party!
Friends claim that all they learned how to do in college was drink beer. Perhaps they're missing the big picture.

Drinking beer might be all I learned how to do but I'm not asking for my tuition money back. No, no... I'm putting this knowledge to fine use!

16-ounce clear plastic drinking cups make great containers for starting little seedlings. (Poke 3 or 4 holes in the bottom for drainage.)

Why Clear?
- The price is right. As in practically free. They cost about 1/10th the price of those fancy little seed starter systems.
- Plus, they work like an ant farm. You get to see what's happening underground!

Everybody seems to love those seed pellet starter systems but I'm just not a fan.

Too small: I like to give my seedlings a fighting chance by growing larger plants indoors, before hardening them off for transplant into the garden.

A bit frustrating: The fabric mesh that holds those seed pellets together never goes away. I thought they decomposed in the soil, but now I know I need to tear the mesh off of them before planting in the soil.

Hatching in my sunny window ~ an entire Coneflower garden, great big Zinnias, Sweet Peas, Blue Cupidone, Linaria, and pretty Aubrieta.

* Wondering where YOUR seeds are? I've been quite the lazy gardener but I am getting my act together over the weekend and you should have them very soon.

Seed-starting mix makes a big difference. It contains more nutrients than potting soil, encouraging healthy growth.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Zen Garden Accoutrements

Fragrant Jasmine Climbing Vines

Have been languishing on the couch for nigh onto a week, now, following doctor's orders for a speedy recovery from an annoying anemic condition.

You'd think, with all this lollygagging, I'd have plenty of time to be blogging but there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Flowering Plum Bonsai

First off, I had to perfect my Sudoku skills. Then, I saved 4 college kids from a spooky fate at the Dire Grove mansion (computer game,) AND! I spent copious amounts of time drooling over several bloggers' gardens who simply have it altogether.

They've got stone walkways that actually lead somewhere. Fancy solar lighting and ~ best of all ~ outdoor living spaces that look nicer than my indoors!

That got me thinking about the one shady corner of my property where I could easily create a secret hideaway, with fragrant climbing vines, trickling water, bamboo chimes, maybe a goldfish! But, most definitely lots and lots of cool, green, soothing, squishy... Irish Moss?

Is that breaking the rules? I think Zen-y Gardens are supposed to have sand but I'd be off my rocker to install more sand in this high plains desert.

So, whaddya think? Inquiring minds want to know.
PS: Thanks so much for all of the kind comments and well wishes you sent my way. You're the best. Much nicer than my doctor! :) Bad Dog's back to normal and I'm gettin' there...

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Latest Conspiracy Theory

African Violets add cheery color to this depressing house of illness.

"You have iron deficiency anemia."

So sayeth the frustrated doctor who only sees me when I'm on my self-diagnosed death bed. After I've exhausted all efforts to heal myself ~ a credo that almost always gets me into trouble.
Polka Dot Moth Orchids are winding down.

I don't know why I'm so allergic to doctors. Perhaps because their ideas for a speedy recovery rarely sync with my own.

"Relax, keep quiet, take your pills, get strong again."

Indoor seedlings stretch toward the sun.

So, I did what I was told. (A first!) I laid quietly on the couch, watching Days of Our Lives, in high hopes they'd spot the obvious clues and quickly solve the disappearance of poor baby Sydney. Think time drags when you're under the weather? It moves considerably slower in a soap opera.

That got me thinking that fresh air was precisely what the doctor forgot to order.
Off to Round Valley, where Bad Dog and I took a short jaunt along a favorite trail. 
Savoring the unmistakable signs that spring is right around the corner.
When we came home, the stiffness kicked in. Not me, him. By the following morning my beloved Bad Dog could barely move. Off to another doctor to see what's what.

"He needs to relax, keep quiet, take his pills, get strong again."

And, that's when it happened. The breakdown. The tears. The devout belief that everyone and everything is conspiring against me.

Blubbering, weepy Kate cried like a fool right in front of Dr. Dreamy.

Bad Dog and I are falling apart at the seams. My faithful companion agrees that Days of Our Lives is a sad way to waste an afternoon.

Whatever shall we do?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays ~ By the Light of the Full Snow Moon

Make a wish.

It's a tradition around these parts, to snowshoe toward the highest ridge and soak in the bright night light of a fresh, full moon.

For more Wordless Wednesday participants, click here!