Outside My Window… the skies are cloudy, which is actually nice. We’ve had a stretch of really hot dry weather, so a cooler, drizzly day is a nice change. This cooler weather today (and I think tomorrow) will enable my newly planted coleus, impatiens, and coral bells get a good start.
I am thinking… that I will skip watering outside plants today! I just went around and stuck a few buckets and containers at the end of our gutter downspouts, as we don’t have rain barrels yet. Any water collected will be that much I don’t have to pay for. Plus, if it does rain a good bit, we don’t need the ground washed out where the downspouts are pointed. I can also now plant seeds in the flower bed right outside my office window without fear that they will be washed away when the rain comes pouring off the roof in that corner. I planted 3 packets of mixed cut flower seeds and wildflower seeds there earlier this year and only one lone zinnia survived the rains and subsequent flooding. I can also now begin planning what I want in that bed long term. First thing will be moving the Texas Star hibiscus to the back of the bed – I had it there when I first planted it last year and the rain water from the roof dumped right down on it. So, the hibiscus will be moved and then I can plant some perennials in the front of the bed and decide if I want to leave the Indian Hawthorne bush that is already there on the north side of the bed.
I am thankful for… a good night’s sleep with no interruptions. The previous night Copper went outside in the evening and was no where to be found when it was bedtime. At 4:40 a.m., though, she was having a disagreement with another cat in the yard and I had to get up and let her back in. By the time I got back to bed, I was fairly awake and did not fall back to sleep until shortly before the alarm went off at 6:20 a.m.
I am hoping… the garage door installations this morning goes smoothly. This is the next to the last item needing repairs or replacement due to the hailstorm in late March. After today, we only have to submit to the insurance company the estimates from the fencing company and then, depending upon what the insurance company pays for, get fences repaired or replaced. My bet is that the insurance company is only going to pay for power washing and sealing, rather than replacement, in which case we’ll be hanging on to the money and getting the fence replaced, either by ourselves or hiring someone.
I am reading…
I am busy creating… I’m still sporadically working on the cat design table runner filet crochet project and I still have the blue Santa counted cross stitch project on the hoop to pick back up. My brain is still full of gardens and plants and propagation and contractors making house repairs and I am not crocheting much at all. Speaking of propagation – which is a type of creating – I have several African violet plants started, along with some coleus. I want to cut some geranium slips and get them started, but all online information seems to indicate rooting them in dirt is the preferred method, and I do not have any rooting hormone nor starter soil. I’d like to root them in water (my preferred method), but I’m not sure how effective that will be. I maybe do both, just to see for future knowledge.
I am hearing… a short video done by Michael Greger M.D. titled Four Nuts Once A Month. Four Brazil nuts taken once a month can lower LDL cholesterol levels faster than statin drugs. It’s going to look strange when I go in to where I buy bulk raw nuts and buy only four Brazil nuts!
Around the house & garden… I’m slowly whittling down the pile of items in the dining room to sell or give away. I need to keep at it, as it’s rather a large pile. Many items are computer oriented and for those I will need Bill to test the item or tell me why we’re getting rid of it and then provide a description. I can sell bikes and kitchen appliances just fine – computer items, not so much.
In other news… I’ve begun using a weekly meal calendar recommended by a friend – I fill it out Sunday with the meals I’m going to eat the coming week. The hope is twofold: 1) I’ll try some new recipes in the multitude of cookbooks I have and 2) I’ll eat only what’s on the menu and not snacks and extras. So far, after two full days using it, it’s been successful. That’s a pretty short duration, though, so time will tell if I keep it up.
One of my favorite things… flowers in my yard and freshly picked mint for my morning smoothie.
Karen: I have no Master Gardener meetings this week. My week revolves around yard/garden care, dealing with contractors here, and continuing the office disaster clean-up effort. Wednesday the new garage door is slated to be installed and Thursday morning the crew will come to install the mini-split a/c unit in the garage. While here, the a/c crew will also attempt to address the uneven air temperature in the house from the new system install in April – nothing serious, just a couple of rooms that seem to have really warm air coming out when the unit first kicks on and also the puzzling issue of the two units having very different air temperatures coming out the vents when they are both set for the exact same temperature. I was hoping for an extremely hot day when they came out, as the issue is more pronounced then, but we’ll see how Thursday goes. Also dealing with a tree that needs removing from my dad’s estate in Alabama, and other estate issue. It is a full week.
Bill: Bill is slated to be home all week, working for various clients. At this point it doesn’t appear like he will have any weekend work, which will be nice. He is enjoying working from home and being able to swim in the pool every evening after supper. When he has to drive to a client site, by the time he gets home through the horrible traffic, it’s often too late to do anything in the evening other than eat supper and go to bed.
David: August 1 is the beginning date for the new company taking over where David works. David did take the job offer they gave him, after they accepted his counter offer of doing some of the IT work in addition to his regular Team Lead work. And some of that IT work started on Tuesday, rather than the predicted mid-August time frame, which was a good sign that the new company means to follow through on their promises. David is hoping this will provide him the opportunity to segue into the IT world, getting some real on-the-job experience and also some mentoring by the existing IT person.
a short video of a butterfly on my zinnias! I am really enjoying my bed of zinnias and will be planting more of them next year.
Well, I thought this was going to be a video. I couldn’t upload the whole video (too big), so I intended to trim the video. It appears like I have a single snapshot instead. I will keep working on this and try to bring you the trimmed video in a subsequent post. It’s really cool, I promise! But the single shot is nice also.
Outside My Window… it’s cloudy and cool, only 53 degrees, but the world is green! Spring has definitely sprung.
I am thinking… of a good friend that is having surgery this morning and hoping that the surgery goes well.
I am thankful for… the fact that the hail we had last night did so little damage here, compared to many areas around us, and that the one tornado was short-lived.
From the kitchen… silence.
I am hoping… to get a lot done today, but woke up with an uneasy stomach and a headache, so I’m laying low this morning, hoping whatever the issue is will pass quickly (no pun intended).
I am reading…
I am busy creating… not much right now. The Rippling Waves afghan is done; all that is left is to weave in the ends. I’ve been so busy that I’ve not even picked up a crochet hook in about two weeks.
I am hearing… the Morning Joe show on MSNBC. I tape it each morning and try to listen to at least the opening few minutes before I delete it.
Around the house & garden… would you believe that my Christmas floral decorations are still up? I really need to find some time soon to swap them out for spring flowers. My flower beds are looking nice and my morning glories are already trying to climb and bloom – another thing to add to my list this week, putting up string for them to vine on. I also need to acquire some tomato plants this week, along with new container soil. If I don’t get them soon, the weather will be too hot for them by the time they are trying to set tomatoes and I’ll lose out, again!
In other news… David had an enjoyable trip to Pittsburgh, visiting with his roommates from his Phoenix years. I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime in the next year he decides to move to either Seattle or Pittsburgh, where each of those friends live. All he needs is a good job there to move to!
One of my favorite things… riding bike. At least it used to be. I hope to find out sometime this week if it still is. We bought bike helmets yesterday, along with a tire tube for Bill’s bike, so we should be good to go soon. Kat wants a picture of us riding our bikes – she says the fact that we have bikes is not newsworthy, but that actually riding them would be!
Karen – I’ve got a busy week with Master Gardeners, which seems to be the new norm. Tuesday is class, Wednesday I have two meetings in Denton, so I’ll be eating lunch in town again, and Friday morning is Help Desk SPLASH meeting. I had planned to skip SPLASH this week, as I was signed up to work the Help Desk this morning, but since I wasn’t feeling well, I canceled that. I’ll decide on Friday whether to work SPLASH or not – they meet every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Friday morning, so I can pick just one a month to attend if I want and still feel like I’m fulfilling my volunteer responsibilities.
I also need to contact two or three a/c companies so we can get quotes on adding the heat reclamation piece into our a/c system to heat the pool, and also see whether it is feasible to upgrade one of the a/c units at the same time. We’re pretty sure these units are original, which means they are about 20 years old. Newer would definitely be more efficient and save us money in the long run.
The rest of the week I’ll be doing my usual:
Bill – Bill is working from home every day this week except Tuesday, when he has a Citrix Class in Dallas. I’m not sure if he will be working late/overnight Friday or not yet. Hopefully by the weekend (or evenings during the week) we’ll have a/c people to meet with. Over the weekend, he’s got a couple of small projects that need attention:
David – David works his usual schedule, Wednesday thru Monday, with Tuesday and Wednesday off. I don’t believe he has anything else on his calendar this week, other than a run to the local coffee shop, Combs’ Coffee, on Wednesday to get his week’s supply of coffee beans. He’s really enjoying having a local coffee shop close by.
Here are some picture thoughts I am sharing… Hail stones. Big hail stones from our yard last night after the storm passed through. Bill is going to inspect the roof later today and see if we need to call the insurance company.