primsong: (gadgets)
Wow, where did September go? Why do I remain astonished at the rate life goes whipping by even though it's done so pretty much since I left grade school?

Been stuffing time into fixing the house trying to get as much done before the autumn October Rains arrived - this week was the start of the rainy season here, so I'm grateful I (barely) managed to finish sanding and staining the boards to fix my front deck before the temperature went down. They'll wait in the garage til I can get them put into place but at least they're done. Steps are fixed, back patio is fixed, yay!

Most of the month I was tweaking gutters, installing two rainbarrels, connecting them and getting an overflow system put into place via digging a drainage trench, lining it and filling it with pipe and rocks... lots of rocks... rocks...are...heavy... Then edging it all in cottage stone, filling in with soil and planting bulbs in there. End result looks great, wish I'd done this years ago. Hopefully this will help stave off a repeat of the water seepage we had last year.

Time to rip out tender potted plants and get the pots into the green house, put away hoses, etc. Booyah, here comes Autumn!
primsong: (ship)
Golly Moses it's hot today - 102+ at the moment and supposed to hit 106, unusually toasty for here. I've been working on replacing rotten boards on my back deck but it's too hot to be outside so I ended up learning to make quick no-corn-syrup marshmallows. These things Happen when I end up in my kitchen unscheduled.

Did a recipe mash-up and made it with 3 pkts plain gelatin softened in 1/2 c. cold water. Added a generous dollop of vanilla, a dash of salt and about half a cup of honey then 3/4 c. boiling water. Dissolved, cooled and whipped with beaters for 15 minutes - ta-dah!

Ate too many marshmallows. I regret nothing. Wish I had graham crackers.

Tonight our dancers are going to the local high school to teach the football teams some Greek dance steps, we go each year and the coaches swear it helps the teamwork and footwork. O-PAH! They sent us a message promising they'd have the A/C cranked up.
primsong: (seasonal)
Our area got a whopping 8 inches of snow since yesterday, which for us is unheard of - everything is at a complete standstill.  I bundled up before it got dark and waded down my long driveway to the mailbox but the mailman never made it apparently.  Lots of kids on sleds on the hill nearby and my cat has glued herself to me so if I even make a motion of possibly sitting down she literally comes running to get into my lap.

Got out to the birdfeeder in the back yard and cleared a circle around it so the ground-feeding little birds could get something to eat, the trees around me became an excited chorus of chirpings as I revealed the ground for them and they were all over that bit of earth as soon as I was back to the house.  Dumped some stale nuts out there for the squirrels as a way to get rid of them (the nuts, not the squirrels) and retreated back to where it was warm.

Very, very grateful right now for having a roof, windows and walls.  Oh, and hot macaroni-and-cheese with lots of freshly ground pepper.  Grateful for that too.
primsong: (pumpkin)
We had a storm blow through recently that apparently flattened a lot of corn mazes - I am quite sorry for all those little family farms that rely on the income from maze-goers each autumn to help make ends meet.  Going to one of the local ones today (what a glorious fall day it is!) to buy some sugar pumpkins and little gourds to help out in my small way.   I've gotten to where I only buy sugar pumpkins as then I can keep them around after October is past to and then have the option of eating them - those carving pumpkins could barely be considered food but a good sugar pumpkin is a lovely thing.

On the jobs front, my hubby didn't get the job in San Diego, so that's off the menu - but now there's people in Vermont considering him!  This could be an interesting year.
primsong: (lunch)
Pulled the turkey carcass we had out of the freezer and cooked it down for turkey-frame soup, lots of veggies and some parsnips to jazz it up. Singed my fingers a bit through impatience in it cooling enough to sift the bones out but it should make a nice hot dinner for everyone as they come home.

We had serious wind and rain the last couple of days, spent the morning hauling several wheelbarrows of fallen sticks and branches to clean the yard up - this was the first time in all our years here that the rain overwhelmed the drainage pipe and our driveway went underwater for a while, my inner child was sorely tempted to dig out some rubber boots and go High Level Puddle Jumping, should have done it!

Cool wind, lots of rain and mud, definitely soup weather.
primsong: (fivey sigh)
We had a tiny blip of the winds from a hurricane out at sea going by and the resulting few hours of sudden strong wind gusts were moderately dramatic. We were playing Scrabble and watching chunks of tree blowing by while a veritable barrage of pinecones rattled on the roof and bounced around on the deck. The end result in my yard is the appearance as if a troop of ambulatory Christmas trees wandered in and exploded.  

Sigh. Time to get the wheelbarrow out and play pick-up-sticks.
primsong: (fireplace)
We're in Phase Two of our large wintery thingy now, having graduated from Lots-a-Snow 101 we have Lots-a-Ice 102.  Sleet and freezing rain have successfully solidified all the drifty white drifts into concrete objects that only LOOK soft. Crunch, crunch, whoooop, argh is the usual progression if anyone is so foolish as to step outside.  My car is under a solid sheet of ice, so I doubt I could pry open the door if I tried to go anywhere anyway.

Hot tea. Warm cat. Sit in the recliner and watch the giant icicle forming on my back deck where warmth from the house has been melting one little spot so it trickles down into a pointy, formidable weapon indeed.  Would build a fire in the fireplace except that requires going outside (crunch crunch whoooop, argh) and prying ice-coated wood off the pile.
primsong: (seagull)
Quite a bit of snow yesterday and last night, and more coming tonight, so I went out and swept a bunch of snow away in a circle around my birdfeeder out back and sprinkled seed for the ground-feeders, then added an extra suet block, some old pistachios we needed to get rid of and a chunked up peanut butter sandwich my daughter forgot about a couple days ago.  It's been nonstop out there, I'm seeing varieties of bird we almost never have come through, which is kind of cool.

I think this cold caught more than just us humans by surprise. My cat is unimpressed with getting her paws in the snow, though I also swept around her catflap she set a new record for the time between when she went out the front door and reappeared through the back catflap leaving "kitty rapidly bounding" marks around the edge of the house.
primsong: (seasonal)
Uh-oh, the Cold Winter of Doom that thus far we'd been able to hide from has apparently found us - quite the drop in temps and wow, look at all that white fluffy stuff out there!  A bit of a novelty.   I swept and salted the entry at the church so the few preschoolers we had and their families hopefully don't slip, some of the high school girls that usually wait on the property for their rides after school were huddled inside the narthex, can't blame 'em!  All the schools are out early and the roads are full of people creeping along at 10mph trying to not slide into one another.

Filled my birdfeeder out back and it already has a young squirrel and a handful of chickadees trying to get some food amid the snow, the little squirrel keeps getting blown over onto her nose when she tries to sit up to eat, obviously her first winter, the older ones are cozily holed up somewhere already.

Little yellow parakeet (now dubbed Lemondrop, slightly more complimentary than Lemonhead) is doing better every day, coming down to the middle of the cage instead of hiding up in the corner and even chirping a little if you talk to her.  I added a heating pad on low alongside the cage to help keep her warmer, so far so good - I'm figuring at this point on keeping them til spring to stabilize and forget about whatever it was they went through, then we'll see about maybe finding them a home of their own.

Time to make hot tea!

primsong: (columbine)
My previous post about how hot and miserable it is in many a place made me think to go out into my yard this morning and wander around with the camera for a few minutes - cool your eyes with a bit of my rainy garden today, if you like:
Rainy plants and flowers )

Stay cool

Jul. 1st, 2012 08:37 am
primsong: (rainbow)
Egads. Just looking at the heat map that NASA has for the US at this point.... Here in Oregon, I'm wearing a light sweater, cradling my cup of tea and it's drizzling outside.  I wish I could gather all of you heat-suffering people to my house where you could go lay in the cool grass and mud of my yard, look at the flowers and let the drizzle fall upon you.

How hot is it where you are?  Are ya'll doing okay?

primsong: (columbine)
It's Friday! This is a Good Thing.

I've organized what is turning into an annual event for the church, my "everyone come with your planters and little packs of flowers and I'll provide the dirt!" time - or "Color-Bowls". The first year I did this I had a whopping TWO people show up, but this round it looks quite promising and I even had to buy extra mushroom compost and potting soil just in case. I even have food to bribe them with, a veggie tray and whole wheat scones with candied ginger and golden raisins I just pulled from the oven.

Fun to swap around all the little plants so everyone gets a mixture instead of having 6 or 8 of the same thing to work with, and the kids love playing in the dirt - now if it would just *stop raining*! Sigh. I think we've only had one day without rain this month... today it's a persistent thick drizzle, so I'm hauling my heavy pop-up canopy along to put over the wheelbarrow lest it become a mobile pot-o-mud. Glad I can at least set up tables indoors with tarps under them to do the potting, but it's no doubt going to be a mess afterwards.

*clinks bottles of plant fertilizer* To spring!
primsong: (medieval crowd)
Wah! - I had to miss Fic Rush. :-P Hope I can catch the next one - sounds like much fun was had by all.

The rain seems to be neverending here, though I suppose that IS par for the course for winter. Splorped out among the poplars in the deluge to clean up a large dead poplar branch that the wind brought down across the driveway - I wonder if my rather deep bootprints in the mud will still show up when it all dries up in the summer. Snowdrops are blooming! My crocuses are starting to show color! *bounces in anticipation of early flowers*

Also a parakeet victory - Been gradually moving the two birdcages closer together over the past month until they were snugged right up side-by-side and within a couple days the birds were spending all their time sitting right next to each other, trying to reach through the bars (awww) so yesterday was the Grand Reveal - I set them up with open doors so they could go from one cage to the other if they so desired.

By noon, I had all three of them happily sitting together in Sherbet's cage - and now Freckles and Millie won't go back to their old cage, they seem to have Officially Moved In with Sherbet. Maybe she just has better toys. ;-) So nice to have them all happy and only one cage to clean each day instead of two - Yay for non-lonely budgies!

Budgie hunt

Dec. 8th, 2010 08:55 am
primsong: (eagle)
Well, my little Sherbet bird at first was happy and perky and chirpy because she was at least free of a cage-mate who had bullied and pecked her, but as time moves on she spends more and more time just sitting there, huddled by her mirror.  Doesn't want to play with her toys, doesn't want to sing along with radio music.  Looks like it's time for a new companion for her!  I found someone on craigslist with a budgie who had lost a companion - here's hoping we can soon restore the brightness to our little chatterbox.

Stunning rainbows and filtered sunlight this morning, now it's silver-dark and pouring ribbons of rain off the roof, washing over the roof above me like the sound of the ocean.  Rain is so beautiful and varied, I can't imagine living in the desert.
primsong: (pimpernel)
All right clouds, you can rain! I get the point. Really.  You can stop now, any day now.... take a lunch-break and go off to the sea to fatten up on new moisture or whatever it is you clouds do for fun. *blub* *blub*

There is grass along my driveway that is literally up to my shoulders. My lawn is over a foot tall and it won't stop raining long enough to mow it, so I'm now reduced to struggling along shoving a push-mower through the mud to try to keep it in enough submission that the weeds don't go to seed in the middle of it. Help!
primsong: (flower)
All right, it's officially Spring. I can tell because I have dirt under my fingernails again and a nice tall stack of chickweed and dandelion carcasses scrabbled out from in, around and among the sea of daffys just starting to open. I went out before dawn this morning and it was warm enough to not need a coat, and all the world was filled with birdsong.

I planted a ceanothus this week, gave my lavenders a haircut, placed two fig trees for digging in and checked on my mason bees, who have not quite come out yet. The grasses are springing up beneath the trees in a green surely only seen in heaven, looking delicate as velvet and beautifully uneven in its thick, soft moundings. Everywhere I look the bluebells are putting up leaves, the crocuses are sprinkling their colors through the ferns and pine needles.

I need to get my more mundane vegetables in - the hellebores got its picture taken this morning, the cyclamen was oohed and aaahed at, but did I get the supports propped into place for the humble greenbeans? Try try again.
primsong: (Default)
This morning we found we'd grown a Mound O Snow on our deck )
I'm staying in!


primsong: (Default)

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