Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Sun Shines Hot and The Wind Blows Cold.

Check out the flower buds. I've never seen a Wandering Jew flower. Is this common?

Busy month. Celebrating double birthdays, trying my luck on the ski slopes, finally biting the bullet and remodeling a 30-year-old kitchen, flying to LA to witness a California Poppy super bloom, re-potting nearly every houseplant in my house. Well. Now that March is finally over. I think a nap is in order.

Yes. I know. This is a terrible photo. :)

The Dahlias are blooming. Don't be too impressed. We're months out from beautiful flowering gardens, this high in the mountains. Sunny windows are the playground when it's snowing outside. 

Chopped most of the roots off my Kalanchoe - and she went absolutely bonkers with the blossoms.

Was equally abusive to the yellow Kalanchoe. With the same wonderful flowering results.

Which naturally inspired me to beat up on the orange ones, too. 

Kalanchoe are a favorite of mine. Quite common, most folks throw them away after they flower. But they're perennials. They'll re-bloom given half a chance

* Root trimming helps keep much-loved houseplants to manageable size. Inspires lots more flowers. Trim the skinny roots, don't cut the tap root, that's the one that matters.

I'm so head over heels in love with this girl, I thought you needed an extra large photo.

My darling granddaughter turned 6. 

Which prompted everyone to insult me about how I'm getting old. 

Why insult me? Howsabout complimenting the kid? Her dress is beautiful, she picked it out herself. It is not a blinding neon rainbow pattern. My little girl is growing up!

* My own daughter has the same birthday, hence the double celebrations. She avoids photos, believing that she's "getting old."

Age is a box people put you in. 

We decided our own mother was 'old' when she turned 80. Which seems appropriate. Thanks to media brainwashing my generation is considered old when they turn 60.

Lifting the lid off the age box, I decided to go skiing. (I live in a ski resort, it's only about 10 minutes to the slopes.)

Haven't skied in a long time and everyone assumes that's because I'm old. Enough already. I'm not that old. But I am rather tight-fisted! And I just can't believe it costs $240, for a single day lift ticket! 

Wish I could say skiing is like riding a bike. But I hardly ever fall off a bike. Though it was a nice fluffy powder day. The apres ski bar was fun and the tumbles were soft.


Plus. Skiing got me out of the house. While noisy men with power tools caused some mass destruction. I've been tolerating The Horrendous Kitchen for about as long as I can remember. It got particularly bad during covid. Remember covid? When everybody painted the walls because they were tired of climbing the walls? 


I chose a paint color called Grey Flannel Pajamas. Such a cute name. Turned out to be periwinkle, a purple Easter egg kitchen. Been scowling at that color choice ever since.

Poppies blooming in France.

Have you ever seen a super bloom? I was lucky enough to see one in France. And it's true what they say. Well, I don't know if anybody actually says this but I will. Once you tip toe through a stunning flower field like this one, you're desperate to do it again.

To continue avoiding the men with noisy power tools, destroying my kitchen, we took off to LA. The location for the most amazing super bloom Poppy Fields. And I had it all figured out. You know. Me. The gardener. Believing I know what I'm doing. Monitoring the nightly temperatures, the rain fall, etc. 

Yep this is gonna be the perfect week to go! 

We did not see a single Poppy the entire time we were in California.

Though we were surrounded by stunning yellow wildflowers along the beaches. While eating and drinking our way across Santa Monica. < Which is always a wonderful Plan B.


Returned home to a brand new kitchen. Where I sit at the new kitchen counter in the early hours of the morning, sipping my coffee and asking myself repeatedly. Why didn't I do this 20 years ago? It would have been paid off by now! 😉

Monday, February 26, 2024

Winter Garden

It's a jungle in here.  

Kangaroo Paw

Every sunny window is happily hosting a variety of flowering bulbs and perennials. 

Do you plant outdoor flowering bulbs indoors? I found it's my saving grace during the long dark of a cold dreary winter.

Temptation Amaryllis

Managed to photograph these on a bluebird day. But that's been very rare this winter. Lots of wind and dark grey skies.

Which definitely messes with the mood.

If I'm not looking at my flowers.. I'm looking out my window at this. Which clearly indicates we won't be playing in the mud any time soon.

* In case you're wondering, that's the Olympic Ski Jump across the meadow. They must be having a competition, I rarely see it lit up like this.

Above - Primula Denticulata - shade lover - perfect for indoor winter gardens. 👆

The Freckle Face plant 👆 - also a shade lover. Displays no flowers, just foliage - she sits on my nightstand, seems perfectly happy (has doubled in size) with light from my bedside lamp.  * Keep moist. *

Tiny Iris, about the size of my thumb.

I went a little overboard this year.  A preemptive strike against the winter blues.

And it works! See? 

You barely notice we're in the midst of another blizzard when you have fragrant Hyacinth blocking the view!

Science Experiments

Why do you have so many flowers?? Asks my darling granddaughter.

Color, fragrance, in a stark white winter world. 

Re-blooming Orchid (I'm as surprised as you are :)

The thrill of success when they bloom. The sobering acknowledgement of defeat when they don't.


I'm sure you've seen aisles of these bulb packets, on sale, typically 50% off at the end of November. 

  1. Grab some!
  2. Store Daffodil, Tulip, Hyacinth, etc. bulbs, in the bags, as you purchased them.
  3. Store in your refrigerator, the produce drawer is a good spot. 
  4. Bring them out after about 6 weeks of forced cold temperatures. 
  5. Grow in water, or plant in soil.
  6. Set on a sunny windowsill and wait for them to work their magic.

Once warm, bulbs are anxious to grow. You'll be surprised how quickly your windowsills are adorned with bright color.  

* Do not store apples in the refrigerator with your bulbs. Apples emit ethylene gas which messes with bulbs. It's particularly hard on Tulips. Which is why I only have one Tulip. Because I forgot. :))

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Horse Life and Homemade Horse Cookies

This is a painting of Sable, and I, in Sunlight Basin. (We were featured in a magazine, inspiring a friend to paint this.) We rode down that mountain, shown in the background of this painting. And that's why people thought it was a pretty big deal. Sable's head is cocked at an angle because she's waiting for her cookie.

There's this meme going around on social media. Asking: What do you have, now, that you didn't have as a child? 

It's implying that adult life isn't all it's cracked up to be. You have everything now that you had as a child, back then your parents paid the bills. Therefore life was easier way back when.

This is a better photo of my partner in crime, Sweet Sable.
* Note that she is not tied up. She is free to run wherever she pleases.
She prefers to hang with me. (It's because of the cookies.)

What do you have, now, that you didn't have as a child? 

A PONY!!! I responded. Took me 20 years!!! Best midlife crisis. EVER!

Sable and I have traveled far and wide together. 
My turquoise camper provided a soft bed after a long backcountry ride.

I was "That Girl." The one who started begging for a pony when she was 4 years old. I was still begging for a pony in my 40's. And that's when I decided to grow up and buy my own.

That's me in the middle. Monument Valley.
When we hired a Native American guide to helps us navigate the backcountry.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Here we are in Iceland. Sable doesn't fit on a plane. Well, she could, but who can afford that plane ticket?? We did this adventure on rental horses.

We've ridden in lots of wonderful places, all in the middle of nowhere

And this is where the great debate begins. Because most horse owners throw a fit about giving their horses treats. I figure the horse is working much harder than I am, she deserves a wee bit of appreciation.

That's Sable, facing the camera.
* I don't know why people say that my riding buddy and I have look alike horses. Sable is clearly much prettier.

My riding buddy is one of those women who thinks it's a bad idea to give her horse a treat. So here's the story I like to tell, to defend my point of view. 

We were in the middle of nowhere, high in the mountains. Sitting on a rock, eating our lunch. When a freak storm hit. High winds. Lightening and thunder. Both horses bolted. And there we were. Stuck walking 12 miles back to our truck and horse trailer. In the rain. In bear and cougar country. As we were walking through the tall trees, we heard a terrible crash. Something running toward us. Oh my gods, I'll bet it's a bear. But it wasn't a bear. It was my cookie-loving horse Sable who came back to find me. She gave us both a ride the 12 miles back to the trailer. Where the horse who never gets a cookie, was casually grazing, waiting on our return.

* Horses aren't like dogs. She had no interest in saving me. She was basically just hoping she could eat another one of these: 

Oat & Molasses Horse Cookies

  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 2 cups apple sauce
  • 4 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups flour

Easy Prep:

Stir together carrots, apples, oil, and molasses.
Mix in salt, oats, and flour.
Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake @ 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Mine contain extra carrots because that's what Sable prefers!

Be careful. The horses 'mobbed' me when I walked into the corral sporting these cookies. I know they meant well but oats & molasses is to horses what wine & chocolate is to us...

Also. Before you cast judgement that I must be rich to own a horse, let me assure that is not the case. 

I'm not rich. I'm irresponsible!