Tag: butterfly (Page 1 of 3)

Weekly Overview 08.30.1

Outside My Window…  sunshine and white fluffy clouds, which is a welcome change from the cloudy skies we’ve had the last week.

I am thinking… about how noisy it is right now.  The neighbor on the south is getting a new roof, while one of the neighbor’s to the east is running a leaf blower.  Today this is not a quiet neighborhood.

I am thankful for… being high and dry.  Harvey’s rain all go east of us and we will not receive any of it’s wrath.

I am hoping…  the new fence / gate installation gets done today.  Yesterday the contractor came by to take measurements and see exactly where I want my compost bin alcove to go.  He indicated they’d be back today to build it.  I can’t wait to see the transformation.


Our current fence and gate area.


 I am reading…

  • Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall by Diana Gabaldon (for fun)
  • Push Not The River (The Poland Trilogy) by James Conroyd Martin (for the 2017 European Reading Challenge)

I am busy creating… plants.  Out of six geranium starts, one is still alive, so my success record there is not very good.  I planted collards and curly kale sets yesterday and am still looking for Swiss chard, mustard, and any other fall greens I can find. I have romaine lettuce and kale ends sitting in water on my kitchen counter, which are putting out a few roots and growing some fresh green tops.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to plant them outside soon.  The small green onion ends that I’ve been saving from my salads have taken off well.  I put them in a container outside last week and five of the seven have survived.  I have five more ends in water on the counter – as soon as they begin putting out new green shoots, they will be planted outside into a container.  Hopefully, before long, I’ll be able to just go outside and cut the tops off for my salad and leave the root end in the container to grow out new tops.

The propagation center.


I am hearing… the pounding of nails into the neighbor’s roof.

 Around the house…  the office has a new overhead light.  The previous light put out a maximum of 1100 lumens.  The new light can put out 2700 lumens, and Bill also installed a dimmer switch so we can adjust what we need.  I haven’t used my computer since he installed the new light, but I’m hopeful that the light will reach over into my corner of the room, enabling me to see items on my desk more clearly.

Around the garden… my plants are enjoying the cooler days (temperatures only in the 80s this past week) and the rain water (3+ inches last Thursday morning).  My zinnias continue to attract butterflies and hummingbirds – so fun to watch.  And my African violets are recovering from my efforts to get rid of all the mealy bugs.  I do a thorough inspection every Thursday and so far, ‘ve only had one plant that has shown any further evidence of bugs and they were easily removed.  Most of the plants are beginning to bloom, which is a good indication that they are happier.

In other news…  I’m back to using webmail.  Bill had the mail server fixed for about ten days, and then this Sunday it when kaplooey again.  He’s been working at it, trying to figure out what’s going on this time, but in the meantime, it’s webmail and gmail.

One of my favorite things…  the robotic pool cleaner.  He was expensive as hell, but he has certainly freed up my time to get other things done.  No more hours spent each week brushing the sides and bottom of the pool and then vacuuming the pool.  It is wonderful!


Our Weekly Overview… 

Karen:  A Master Gardener meeting Friday, but since Bill has the day off and we’re planning a weekend away, I’m not planning on attending.  I’ve been working on Quicken (yes, actually, finally, working on Quicken!), dealing with contractors (still), and also car maintenance (the Dart had an oil change Tuesday and will, hopefully, have the tires rotated on Thursday). Friday we will travel to Paris, Texas, for a square dance weekend.

Bill: Bill will be working from home every day this week except Friday – he’s taking a comp day on Friday.  That will make a four day weekend for him, which he well deserves.  We should be home from our square dance weekend sometime Sunday afternoon in time for the Darlington Race Sunday evening.  Monday is Labor Day and I’m sure we’ll find some project around the house to labor on.

David: David had Monday and Tuesday off, and works the rest of the week.  He continues to keep himself busy in his free hours by working on his Atomic Space game, which you can follow the progress of via Atomic Space Project.


Here’s a picture thought I am sharing …  

Weekly Overview 08.02.17

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…

  • Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall by Diana Gabaldon (for fun)
  • Palm Trees in the Snow by Luz Gabas (for the 2017 European Reading Challenge)

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.

Our Weekly Overview… 

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.

Here some picture thoughts I am sharing

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.

Gardening in Texas

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that our new house has gardening space. So far, my gardening has been rather unproductive. If we had to survive on what I’ve produced, well, let’s just say we’d have been dead long ago!

Last spring was unusually wet, cool, and cloudy (15 inches in May is wet!), so the strawberries planted the last week of April died a moldy, wet death. The summer was conversely hot and dry – we had 1.3 inches of rain from July 4th to the end of September. My tomato plants grew spindly and slowly and were covered with spider mites. In the raised bed that had held the strawberry plants, I planted zucchini, crookneck and patty pan squash, which produced about 5 squash total before the squash vine bore decimated it. At that point, I gave up until fall.

In September I planted spinach, Swiss chard, beets, and lettuce from seed, along with Swiss chard plants and tomato plants. The plants look great, but for various reasons (hot sun, insufficient moisture on the top of the soil, etc.), only a few of the seeds came up. The lettuce looks good, some Swiss chard is trying, and I’m going to replant the spinach and beets this weekend after it gets a bit cooler.

I may actually get a tomato!

Tomato Plants

A tomato

And in the raised bed, I have a beautiful crop of marigolds (along with the Swiss chard and the few straggling spinach seedlings).



And the butterflies love them!


Gardening in a new location is always a challenge and I have a lot to learn about gardening in Texas. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

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