Saturday, March 30, 2013

Telephones, Texts and Terrible Timing...

Spring-blooming Primrose. The most commonly murdered perennial on the planet.
 Who can resist these dainty little darlings? So adorable, sitting on your window sill ~ until they turn brown and kick the bucket. Truth be told these little cuties are tough as can be, zone 3, perennials, who can't handle heat. Primrose are one of the first perennials to bloom in my icy cold, spring garden.

Ah ha! I thought to myself as I read the daily drivel:
Libra Horoscope Saturday, Mar 30, 2013 -- This is an excellent time for you peacemakers to exercise the diplomatic arts by building bridges between opposing sides of a conflict without getting run over in the process. It's admirable that you want to be of service, but don't lose perspective or there won't be any energy left over for yourself when you really need it. 

We all have our faults. Mine is how badly I would like everyone in my life to simply get along. And, if you can't get along, then leave me out of it! I'm highly allergic to drama.

Anemone & Yellow Wallflower. Sold at Home Depot as a perennial. DON'T fall for that. Annuals anywhere but CA.
Was awakened in the middle of the night by a whole batch of text messages from a (clearly) much younger person. In reality, it was only 11 p.m but I go to bed early. And, once somebody wakes me up, I stay awake for a good long time because the hardest task in my life is trying to shut down that brain o' mine to enjoy a good night's sleep.

While I was lying there, I started thinking about how phone calls are becoming a lost form of communication. Which is really too bad because it's the only way to get to the bottom of things.

Frilly African Violets. Tip: Don't re-pot them. Bigger blossoms when rootbound!
I am not inept when it comes to text messaging. In fact, I put up with this form of communication all day long. I'm a pretty good texter, too.

But, there's a time and place for everything. I was mad as a hatter about these text messages! Probably because of generation GAPS and generational upbringing.


Back in the dark ages, when I was a little kid, you did not make phone calls between 5 and 7 p.m. because that was interrupting the [now] non-existent dinner hour. AND, you never ever called anyone after 10 p.m. At least, that's what my prim and proper Mom taught me. But, then I went to college and that freaking phone was ringing into the wee hours every single night. Mostly from friends who forgot their keys and couldn't get back into the dorm. Oh... okay, I'll admit it, most often that was me, calling my 4.0 GPA, and much more responsible roommate, because I was the gal who forgot the key.


My joyful kitchen window.
Anyhoo... perhaps you've gathered that I like telephones.

Telephones are great because it is the voice of two people directly communicating about.. everything. I don’t care if you’re yelling, screaming, cooing, dreaming... Telephones are, and always will be, the second most highly effective way to hammer things out.

The first? Actually meeting up in the physical world. Standing face to face with your demons, in the form of a friend, or loved one, staring and glaring you down.

IMHO (that's texting lingo for In My Humble Opinion) Phone calls are brave. Text messages, not so much. AND! Timing is everything. 

Which is why, when I got up early this morning, I promptly made two phone calls ~ knowing full well those texting fools would be fast asleep. :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday: The Prickly Pears

It's always summer somewhere... 

When you live as high up in the mountains as I do... 
searching out summer can be a full time job.
Because our winters last for 6 long months.

Therefore this wildflower lover schedules warm weather escapes as often as possible. And, when we go, we take our girls. As in the horsie girls ~ because these mares are perfect transportation for hunting down those elusive, and sometimes rare, wildflowers.

Last week, it was snowing back home, but we didn't care! We were trotting through the back country near Sedona, Arizona. On the Caballos del Sol annual benefit trail ride. I do declare our horses were as delighted with the summer weather as we were! 

* The Prickly Pear Cactus wows us with stunning blossoms in pink, yellow and orange... though I've never been fortunate enough to find an orange one in bloom. This plant is gorgeous and practical: Prickly Pear Syrup on french toast is quite tasty!

* I'm participating in Clay & Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday meme. Pop over to Gail's place to meet more flower lovers...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lavender Cookies and Other Purple Passions

"You can never have enough purple in the garden." - Grandma Anne
Critters outsmart me, gobbling my tulip bulbs, so I force Tulips indoors.

When I was a college kid, I tried hard to be dark and brooding. I even went through the black and white photography phase. Mostly because I thought that made me look artistic and hopefully kind of cool.

French Lavender (Lavender stoechas, zone 8) grows fast by seed in a sunny window, with true flowers vs. narrow sprigs.

When I showed off my artsy fartsy photos to my Grandma Anne, she yawned and told me they were not 'snapping her socks.' (i.e. boring) Then she proceeded to educate me on a few more inescapable truths:

Kate, she said, give it up. You're never gonna be cool. The real point of taking pictures is to document the bright spots in a colorful life.

Do all Grandmas smell like lavender? 
I hope so.

These pics are for you, Gram.

All Lavender is edible but most of them don't taste that great. Grow English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) if you plan to cook with it.

PS: You might as well double the batch right now because you know in your heart that you want to...

Lavender Cookies
  • 1.25 cups butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers, crushed
Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Mix in the flour and lavender flowers. Spoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake about 15 minutes @ 350 degrees F.

Forced Tulips and French Lavender spend their days sunning themselves on my deck. 
Both warm their toes, indoors, at night.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Hyacinth Lover

Delft Blue Hyacinths
(Not an Heirloom)
This hybridized Hyacinth is available just about everywhere.

Are you a Hyacinth Lover? I have to say I think these are just the prettiest flowering bulbs on the planet. But, here's a sad, sad fact...

Brightly blooming and oh, so fragrant Hyacinths are being hybridized to extinction.

At one time, Hyacinths were more popular than Tulips. And, for good reason. They bloom longer, they're much hardier, and they fill your spring garden with an intoxicating, sweet perfume.

Rare Hyacinth Bulbs:
Old House Gardens is the coolest shop. They specialize in heirloom bulbs, even telling a little bit of history about the where's, when's and why's of how these lovely flowers got their start.

General Kohler: Born 1878
The oldest, surviving double Hyacinth.

Marie: Born 1860.
One of the rarest. Now considered 'commercially extinct.'

Gypsy Queen: Born 1927.
Naturalizes 'effortlessly' in dry, southwest gardens.

Hollyhock Hyacinth: Born 1936
Blooms later in spring than most commercial Hyacinths.

Curing the Winter Blues..
At about $1.00 a bulb (for commercially available Hyacinths) there's no reason to short change yourself. I usually purchase a couple dozen of these and store them in the 'frig. Hyacinth bulbs are easily 'forced.' Meaning we trick them into thinking it's spring by keeping them in a cool dark place. In winter, after 12 weeks of cold storage, forced Hyacinth bulbs will happily bloom in a sunny window.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mini Heirloom Veggies

Yippy skip! My seeds arrived.

Yikes. This might be a sign of old age:

For years, I've been a perennial purist. If it's growing in my yard it had dang well better be a flower. Practical produce is a job for Farmer John.

Until recently. This spring, I have a burning desire to live off the land. Grow pure and wholesome heirloom veggies! My own personal Garden of Eden, if you will. (Who knows? Come harvest, I might be dancing around out there, naked.)

What's most ridiculous about this is that I don't even like vegetables. Well, that's not completely true. I love potatoes. I'm evolving into a potato! I'm growing rounder and plumper every year.

So, here's my plan: I shall grow them in containers on the deck and bestow this bounty on all my friends.

If they taste like crap I've got that covered, too. I have mean neighbor who deserves a bushel basket of this stuff...

Lots of veggies grow well at high altitudes. Start them indoors 6 weeks prior to planting for best results.

Seeds of Change contributes $$ to advance the cause of sustainable organic agriculture worldwide. I think that's pretty cool...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jasper's Get Up

Jasper Joops: Super Hero
I've done no special favors to this pretty Palomino horse by shooting a photo of him at his very worst.  On my iPhone, no less, but I laughed so hard when I saw him in his 'you will not get muddy again' get up.

You see, it's mud month, up here in the mountains.

Horses are shedding their thick winter coats and that means tons of rolling back and forth in the mud ~ to get rid of the itchies. Normally that would be a-okay, but we're heading out on the Caballos del Sol trail ride and we'd kinda like to have a pair of pretty horses!

Which is why the poor guy is wearing his super hero garb. His owner, my neighbor, spent 4 hours bathing him yesterday and then he promptly rolled in the mud. Again. So, she put face protectors, neck protectors and all over body blankets on the poor boy so no matter how hard he rolls, he'll still be purty.

{This is precisely why I think black horses, such as the beautiful Bella, are the bomb.}

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An Extraordinary Poinsettia

I think these variegated reds and greens are just gorgeous.
Have you been having trouble sleeping? Well, you came to the right blog! This post should knock you out...

Just kidding. Well, maybe not. Of all the flowers in the world that I could be yapping about today, I imagine I'm the only one who cares about a Poinsettia so long after the holidays.

But, this is no ordinary Poinsettia. I've had her for several years. And, I'm just fascinated with her. I guess the conditions in my home are perfect because she turns red without all the hoo ha.

* If you listen to the experts, Poinsettias need 14 hours of total darkness every day, for eight straight weeks, in order for the leaves to change from green to red. And, if you screw up that regimen even once, you have to start all over again. 

I suppose I would have to follow those rules if I wanted a solid red plant. But, this one doesn't get any of that special treatment. She lives in a south facing window and right about the middle of March... we start celebrating Christmas. {Granted her biological clock is way off kilter, but I still think it's pretty cool.}

* Poinsettias can reach 10-15 feet in height. I'm grooming mine to be an indoor tree in the sunny room.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday's Mystery

She's an itty bitty seedling, growing in my sunny window. About an inch worth of leaves have sprouted from the tiny pot. With any luck, by summer's end, she'll reach a whopping 15 feet tall ~ showing off some truly spectacular flowers.

Who could it be? {hint - she's not an annual.}

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ms. Megan

Isn't she pretty?

Well, she better be. I groomed her for over an hour. Scraping off an entire winter of mud and muck and... whaddyaknow?!  Underneath it all is the same baby girl I turned loose last autumn, before the first winter storms set in.

We're off on vacation in one short week. I whispered that in her ear. But, I'm not so sure she was listening...

* Instagram pics are ones I take on my iPhone and post instantly.

Friday, March 08, 2013

TGI... Park City

Art for Sale!

Really & truly. Not being even the slightest bit melodramatic when I say that. 

A FABULOUS fundraiser for a fabulous cause.
However! I will say I am quite delighted that it's a Friday and that I live in a place called Park City. Because it's not possible for bad moods to linger in such a great place. 

Still hoping for a date with Farah.
 RETRO SKI DAY is all about dragging those precious ~ cannot part with them ~ dated items from your closet. You know... the ones from way back when. And, you strut out there, in public, with your hottest threads.


I hear the Bee Gees every time I look at this guy!

I love how my little town pitches in on such things...

Gotta love a guy who refuses to give up the one-piecer ski suit. Do you 'spose he's hoping it will come back into style?

Best hair socializing with best dorky jacket. (Remember when we were all crazy patriotic? :)

Last but not least ~ a Chewbacca Green Hairy Ski Jacket. Clearly a must have. At some point in time...

I entitled this TGI Park City as a play on TGIFriday. And, I'm sure you picked up on that...

But, I gotta tell ya. After this dark week, of mean-spirited behavior, I wanted to post these pictures in celebration...

Celebration? Of how blessed I am to live in this particular place.

Here's hoping your dark days are nowhere to be seen. And, that there's a wonderful weekend in front of you.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Wordless Wednesdays: Prettiest Place on the Planet

The ocean walk in Wailea, on the island of Maui. {Whenever I'm having a bad day, I pull out this photo and dream of living in this house.} For more slightly Wordless Wednesday participants click here!

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