Category Archives: Nature

Standing O for our little blueberry bush


Standing O for our little blueberry bush from whom I have harvested two quarts of organic blueberries in just the past couple of days. Now, I am enjoying part of that bounty with some greek yogurt and toasted walnuts, which makes for a tasty breakfast. We have never fertilized that little bush, nor have we ever sprayed her with anything. Each year, we just thank her for the wonderful berries, keep her watered, and leave her alone to do her duty – and, she does, to a tremendous degree.

Being grateful and enjoying something delicious is a nice way to start the day. Enjoy. JS


Now this is rain


We are used to the rain up here in the Pacific NW during the fall and winter months, but not THIS kind of rain, a down-pour so unrelenting it makes you get up in the night and stare out the window to see if you can spot one of the Four Horsemen galloping across the back yard. Wow.

Feels like a Dallas thunderstorm, without the thunder, lightning and the feeling that you are being shot at with some sort of assault weapon. It is intense. Rain is necessary, we know that, in order to bring on the kind of greenery we enjoy up here, but the rain has always been a sort of misting, like Mother Nature is sort of spitting on you for months at a time, so this is kind of scary. JS


Eldon to the rescue (again)


Eldon, our 84 yr. old neighbor, always manages to yank my large ass out of the fire at least once a year. He just did it again while ago.

The city sends a big truck around through the neighborhoods in the fall to suck up the leaves we have raked to the curb. This usually happens the week of Thanksgiving and again the week of Christmas, so I certainly didn’t expect to see it today but, THERE IT WAS, just a couple of houses down from us, sucking and grinding away. I grabbed a rake and was furiously raking piles and piles and PILES of leaves toward the curb, trying to talk myself into being moderately satisfied if they only managed to pick up half of the four tons of leaves covering the yard today.

Beneath the growling noise of their machinery, suddenly, there was another noise. I looked up and here came Eldon across the street with his leaf blower blasting into action. Between the two of us and, adding to what Stef had raked to the curb the other day, we managed to get it all out into the street before the truck drove up. Of course, a strong wind or rain storm will coat the yard again with more leaves but, for the moment, we are feeling under control.

Eldon is such a dear man. I love this guy. And, he loves being the hero, I’m sure of it. Sometimes, I think he stands at their picture window just watching for an opportunity to race out and save me with some sort of equipment he loves to use. I’ve not spent a lot of time in my life being a damsel in distress, but rescuing me from havoc and doom seems to bring Eldon quite a bit of joy. Luckily, I don’t ever disappoint him. And, then, I get to hug his neck. JS


Beautiful Rogue River Hovercraft Ride


We are heading down to the beautiful Rogue River today to go on a hovercraft ride up the river for an hour or so, then we will have a scrumptious dinner at one of the lovely lodges up the Rogue – only accessible by boat – before we head back. Should be a fabulous day on the river.

I’ve only been on the Rogue once before, and it’s one of the most powerful and gorgeous rivers in Oregon, really something to experience. I was with a bunch of friends there about 20 yrs. ago and we all really got clobbered on that last kayak run – boats and paddles everywhere, my Chapstick swirling ’round and ’round in a whirlpool, people having to be rescued (no names mentioned) by others who actually knew what they were doing. When we stopped for lunch, someone noticed a slice in my leg and blood running down to my ankle, plus a giant bruise on my other leg. “Wow,” she said, “you really got smacked!”

I wiped the blood off my foot. “Oh, this?” I asked. “Well, this is where I had to save Robin and Nanbo from drowning while ago (which, as we all knew, was a totally false, humorous joke.)

She pointed to my bruise. “What happened here?”

There was no time to think up something as heroic as I wanted to, so I just told the truth. “Oh, this one? Well, this one…uh…this one…this one is where I hit my leg on the car door at the Taco Bell on the way down here.”

I don’t think today will be nearly so exciting or adventurous, but I bet it will be fun. And memorable. JS


Power washing is a messy job


Power washing is a messy, MESSY job. Just thought I’d let you know that.

A wet fall, winter and spring in the Pacific NW means lots of mold and moss and ook on the concrete and in the cracks around the pool and, even though I’ve split it up into 3 sections to get it all done; even though the power washer is mighty and true; even though I bought a special whirly-gig thingie last year at Home Depot which speeds the whole process up immensely, still, it is a slow and tedious and MESSY job.

Plus, I have sprayed our side of the fence, knocking off several years of grime, which means that I now look like I’ve been personally targeted by Monsanto to receive my very own chemtrail and it’s been deposited, so generously, in my hair, on my glasses, in my eyes and onto my t-shirt. NASCAR drivers got nothin’ on me today except a cool uniform. I am a mess.

On the good side, it’s a beautiful day here in Oregon. JS


Getting the garden going


Just planted a whole broken wheel barrow full of purple and white petunias, which is going to be so lovely in a few weeks. Also, our strawberries are back, bless their little hearts. Despite the fact that I rip them out of there every year so their vines don’t grow out into the yard or under the fence and trip someone, they still return each year to do their duty, which is to supply us with enough luscious strawberries each year to make me happy. I love going out early in the morning and plucking strawberries and blueberries to include in breakfast, although I rarely make it back to the kitchen with a full bowl of them. Must be the birds…yeah, that’s it. JS


a toad-choker of a storm


Wow – a real toad-choker of a rain storm last night here in Lubbock. A little bit of hail was in the mix, too, although not as bad as some places south of Lubbock got smacked with. I know people tend to think that Texans exaggerate – and, it’s true, we do – but, really, never about the weather. We don’t have to.

Wowza, what a storm. JS


Odd conversations


Stef and I have the oddest conversations sometimes. For example, this afternoon she had her Nikon out with the giant, bazooka-shaped lens and was photographing a black spider on the post by the gate. He had funky-looking, sorta turquoise-neon eyeballs and fangs to match. Every so often, he’d rise up and bare his fangs at the lens, like that would frighten it away.

“Whoa,” she said, “I think I’m just really making him mad.”

“Is he the kind of spider who flings himself at you and bites?” I asked. I know very little about spiders except to give them their space.

“I’m not sure,” she said, “but, if he flings himself at me, I’m going to scream like a girl.”

I thought for a second. “You realize I won’t be saving you from this, if he attacks,” I said.

“Yes,” she said.

“If he attacks, you’re completely on your own,” I reminded her.

She let out a little sigh of exasperation. “I know,” she said.

I continued, “Because you might scream like a girl, but if that spider attacks, I will crash through the fence and race down the street, squealing like Tarzan’s girlfriend, just know that.”I saw her eyes start to glaze over, but that didn’t slow me down. “Now, if your spider bite gets infected, I will put ointment on it for you, and if your body goes septic because of a nasty spider bite, I’ll drive you to the hospital but, just remember, fighting off the spider is totally up to you and, if I were you, I’d quit doing whatever it is I was doing to piss him off. But, that’s just me.”

She lowered the camera for a moment and stared at me. “Jody,” she said.

“Hmmm?” I replied.

She pointed toward the door. “Go inside,” she said.

And, so, I did. JS


Dogwood trees


Dogwood trees were a glorious idea, their pink and white flowers like delicate, fluttery eyelashes of color winking at me as I walk along the neighborhood streets in Tulsa. Wow.

Azaleas, too, mostly in the loveliest reddish-fuscia color; they poof out from every cluster of shrubbery – so beautiful.

Spring is on the loose here in Tulsa, Oklahoma! Feeling grateful this morning that I have eyes with which to see how pretty it all is. I hope all of you enjoy your day, too. JS


Beautiful March


It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood – lots of sunshine and beautiful flowers. Lots of bees, too, for which I am grateful. Keeping the bee population in a healthy place will help keep our food costs down and everyone is happy.

Hey, anybody know when we’re supposed to plant lettuce up here in the Pacific NW? I’m thinking it might be March, in which case, I’d better do it today since we are about to run out of March. JS