It’s a Verde kind of Day

Verde = Italian for “Green”

The grass I planted to help out the kitty cat’s digestive issues has taken off like .. well.  . a weed.

IMAGE

The cats, especially Loki the Kitten, like to “mow” it every now and again (as Hubby puts it).  Loki will bite a piece off, chew on it a bit, and then spit it on the floor.  I guess it must be like losing the flavor in your chewing gum.  He only seems to like either the bottom and middle, or the top and middle parts of the grass blades.  Once he’s eaten to the middle, pa-too-ee.  It looks like the pot is shedding grass, but it’s really just the work of our resident kitty artist.

Since taking the above picture, the grass has started to splay out more.  It looks like someone stepped on it.  I need to get a sign for the pot that says, “Do NOT step on the grass!”  Heehee.  Too cute.

At any rate, I actually keep it on the floor now, but I couldn’t get a good picture unless I put it back on the counter. If you’ll notice from previous pictures, the grass has grown above the length of the automatic can opener in the background.

 

IMAGE

I actually love this so much, I might start growing it instead of the other house plants that I seem to kill.  I haven’t watered this much, it seems to be absorbing water from the air in our apartment which is overly saturated in moisture.  I wonder if a lot of these “plants” would work as a dehumidifier of sorts?  Hmm, would be a hell of a lot cheaper.

That’s not the only thing that’s green around here.  I’m still working on my blanket.  I have learned a lot of things from making this blanket, the most important of which is that I will never make a granny square blanket again unless it is one giant square.  It is so much extra work to make the individual squares, piece them together, and then outline the whole blanket.  I already have plans to try a striped blanket and can’t wait to get started.  I guess I should finish this one first..

Anywhoo, I like to make yarn balls out of the skeins of yarn that I buy.  This way, I can see any deformities in the yarn and (hopefully) fix them before I use them.  I have noticed more and more that there are tiny knots in the yarn where the yarn factory decided to join the end of one piece of yarn to the beginning of another.  I don’t mind these too much as I can usually hide them in my work.  However, the idea that they seem to happening with more frequency makes me wonder if they are having higher turnover rates at the yarn factory.  A yarn factory!  I’d love to work at a yarn factory… Mmmm, yarn.

Uh, yeah.  So I made my yarn ball out of my green skein of yarn and I noticed something.  I had made a cool pattern with my yarn ball!  I must share.

IMAGE

I’ve usually done something like this with my yarn balls in the past, but not this symmetrical.  I love it so much I almost didn’t want to unravel it to use on my blanket.  Sweet yarn ball!

Incidentally, my husband is aware of (and taken aback by) my very obvious yarn addiction.  He has coined terms for me such as: “yarngasm”, “yarnaholic”, and “yarnsane”.  I love him so much 🙂

Grass growing like weeds

And not that kind of grass.

A couple of weeks ago, our little kitten Loki got into the Philodendron that was kept on the floor.  He nibbled a piece of it off and proceeded to act very sickly.  Out with the bad plant and in with some good ones.  I tried planting some tall grass directly from my garden, which worked as a temporary situation.  It not only forced me to finally weed my garden, but also allowed me to (hopefully) bring in some edible plants for the cats.  But Loki kept knocking the pot over, which killed the plant.

Solution?  Wal-Mart of course!  Everything is at Wal-Mart.  Pretty soon they’ll be selling mail-order brides.  I digress.

I found a neat little ‘DIY” of sweetgrass.  It came with grass seeds (duh), soil, and a flimsy plastic “pot”.  It looked like something you would keep bait in.  So I ditched the plastic and put the rest in my taller, green pot.  Well, Loki still kept knocking it over which prevented the grass from rooting and, therefor, prevented it from growing.

New solution, put the pot on the counter.  The cats are not allowed on the counter so this is a good place for the grass to grow until it’s tall enough for them to eat.  Albeit, the counter is small and already crowed with small appliances (as seen in the photos), but it worked anyway. And boy did it grow!

IMAGE

I took this picture yesterday morning

 

IMAGE

I took this picture yesterday evening

I think the grass grew half an inch in 12 hours.  Sweet! .. uh sweetgrass 🙂

Not only is the grass growing at phenomenal speed, it actually has dew on it!

IMAGE

Dew on the grass

Maybe I should grow a “grass bathmat” so I can walk on fresh dew every morning after I take my shower..  maybe not.

Hopefully, once the grass gets a wee-bit taller, I can put it on the ground and Loki will eat it and not knock it over.  ‘Cause I’m getting attached to my little pot of grass and I’d hate for it to die *sad face*.

Life’s Suprises

A few weeks ago, I was walking up to the front door and I noticed a rather prominent green stalk sticking out of my garden.  Now, I do not get around to weeding it like I should.. but I do weed it enough to know the difference between a flower and a weed (or so I hope).  At any rate.. I had my hopes up that this new stalk was a sunflower.

We keep a sunflower/suet feeder for the birds on our porch.  We haven’t filled it or the normal birdfeeder in ages due to time and squirrels.

IMAGE

Birdie Bird Feeder

I never considered the seeds being eaten by the birds and then turned into Sunflower Seed plus fertilizer all in one package.  I guess that’s what happened, though.

IMAGE

Sunflower

I am so excited that this little flower came out of nowhere.  It is a very needed and pleasant surprise to my little garden.  Which has grown, by the way..

This is what my garden looked like a month or so ago:

IMAGE

Garden in July

This is what it looks like now:

IMAGE

Marigold Garden

As you can see, the marigolds have completely overtaken the other flowers.  The marigold plants that died from the neighbor’s dog peeing on them even grew back!  All in all, I have to say that it has been a successful flower garden this year 🙂  Our potted marigolds did not fare so well.  They were drenched in a storm we had a couple weeks ago and drowned.  On the plus side, we have fewer plants to water.

 

 

 

The Weather Outside is.. delightful.

Here in little MidWest towne, it is cold and dreary.  Lovely.  It has been oppressively hot and humid for so long that the drab day is a welcome guest.  It is great to be able to open the windows and feel a cool breeze through the house.  I may even have to change into actual pants today because I’m getting goosebumps from the breeze!  Awesome 🙂

This kind of weather doesn’t get me down (in most cases), but the sudden, drastic change in barometric pressure does affect my health.  Therefor, I am feeling groggy and lazy today.  So you would think I would just stay under the covers with a good book, my doodle pad, and my mp3 player, right?  Of course not!  It’s time to get housework done.

I did a little housework and then realized that I wanted to get outside a bit.  What a perfect day to weed the garden!  And what a delightful little garden it is turning out to be this year.

Image

Porch-side garden

It’s not much.  It measures probably two by six feet.  But it’s mine and it’s gorgeous.  Half of it is doing marvelously.  Miss Marigold is turning into a small bush about as big as my head.  She’s getting  a little big for her britches because she’s pushing the boundaries of the garden fence.  But she’s beautiful.  Miss Celadona is getting quite a head on her shoulders.. maybe too large of one.  Her stems can’t seem to hold her head up anymore.  But she is gorgeous.  I was worried about Mr.Snapdragon, but he’s doing great now.  He is just the runt of the litter.

As I said, half of it is doing great.  The other three feet.. eh.. not so good.  I think it is because that’s where the bird feeder is, on the shepard’s crook.  The bird shit is probably not so great for the flowers in such large quantities.  Maybe a little would make good fertilizer, but apparently a lot makes good dead-a-lizer.

 

It’s Hotter than Heck!

The heat wave in my small part of the world continues.  It is supposed to break tonight with the promise of severe thunderstorms (Please YES!), but I am not holding my breath.

The small town I live in is like a meteorological bubble.  Usually, whenever rain is forecasted it glides around this small town.  It is even visible on the radar map and can be cruelly amusing to watch the green blobs break to go around the town and then come back together on the radar screen.

The good part of this is that we hardly ever get severe weather.  I’ve posted about some of the damage this town has received in the past few weeks from severe thunderstorms, but it is unusual for this town.  Not this entire areal, mind you,just this town.   At any rate, there are some .. er.. things that seem to be enjoying the heat.  Let’s take a look:

Kitty on the porch

Kitty on the cement porch

My cat did NOT like the heat when it first showed up.. back in May.  She would go outside for about five minutes, start panting like a dog, and then demand to be let back in just long enough to cool down.. before wanting back out.  Now, she’s gotten used to the heat (tell me the secret!) and enjoys sitting on the porch for hours.  Yup, hours.  She’ll come back in for a few minutes to cool off in front of the fan and get some water.. and then it’s back out onto the porch. Or in the yard to watch some birds walk around.  I guess it’s too hot to kill things.

Garden

Small Garden

My garden seems to be doing pretty well this year.  I am surprised because I am not the best with plants.  I try hard to water them in the evening so as not to shock them and I make sure to give them lots of water.  About every night, they are thirsty for more.  It seems that Marigolds and Celadonas? love heat and sun.  I know that Miss Marigold is very hardy, but I was uncertain about the other.  The Snapdragon does not seem to be proliferating as well as I would like, but he’s not lagging too far behind the others.

Petunias

Petunias and Marigolds

Petunias did NOT like the heat.  We almost lost  her when we thought it would be alright to stick Miss Petunia out on the Shepard’s hook in the middle of the yard in full sun and water her every-other day.  Oh no, Miss Petunia has a very specific regiment.  First of all, she must be kept in shade in such oppressive heat.  Direct sunlight under these conditions can be deadly.  Also, it is important to water Miss Petunia at least every night.  Despite this, she doesn’t like to stick to a diet and will demand more watering sessions.  We have since been able to save her.. but we’ll see how long she fares so well in this heat.

And yes, I have personified my garden.  I find it helps me to want to take care of them.  It don’t really think of them as “people” (come on now).  It just reminds me of the Alic in Wonderland animated movie where she’s walking around with the flowers.. Thank God I don’t have Pansies!

Trees et al

The weather here in the MidWest continues to be oppressively hot and humid.  We endured some very nasty storms over the weekend, and they left their permanent mark on the landscape (and some roofs) of our small town.

The View

View to a downed tree

This tree used to be rather large.  It took the city crews a couple of days to cut it down into manageable logs so that it was no longer in the road.

Log Pile

Pile of logs

Here’s the pile of the “manageable logs”.  They are taller than I am!  I think the residents will have plenty of fire wood this winter.

Tree Down

The leftover trunk of the tree

Here is what is left of what was once a beautiful tree.  I am not sure if it was the lightning or the 90 plus mile per hour winds that knocked it down, but it did a great job.

Along with the storms, the ever-lasting drought has caused damage to the neighborhood trees as well.

Shedding Tree

A tree shedding its bark

These trees by the local library are actually shedding several layers of bark.

At first, I thought maybe this particular species of tree simply shed its bark but I do not ever remember seeing it.. at least not to this extent.  There are also several other trees in the local parks and along the nature trails that seem to be doing the same thing.  They are not just shedding the top layer of bark as some “shaggy” types will do.  They are shedding several layers.  You will find the curled up pieces of bark along sidewalks and nature trails, totally dried out and crispy from the heat.

On a side note, despite the heat some gardens are doing wonderfully well this Summer.  I had to snap a shot of these lovely black-eyed susans.

Black-Eyed Susans

I found these beauties in a neighbors garden but, surprisingly, my garden is doing pretty good too.  I guess the secret is a lot of sunshine, a lot of heat, and a lot of water.

Nerves of Lead

Whenever I get nervous, I like to doodle.  This morning I had an interview for a job and was, needless to say, very nervous.  I was ready to go, early, and waiting for the clock to hurry up so I grabbed my sketch pad and drew a little bit of my orchid plant.

Orchid - Front and Back

Orchid

My husband bought me this orchid and it is absolutely beautiful, I don’t do it justice.  There is one flower facing me and one facing away.  I only had the attention span to draw two of the many flowers.  Hope it’s recognizable!

I think if I have time and attention span enough, I will do a watercolor of this.  The purple of the flowers is spectacular 🙂