Tag Archives: garden

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


I power-washed the back fence today (2)


I power-washed the other half of the back fence today. Dear God, somebody shoot me now. I don’t think I can raise my arms ever again.

To accomplish this task, Stef and I had to move about half a cord of firewood plus about 8,000 boards of various lengths Stef Neyhart somehow can’t bear to part with, some we have had so long they are now petrified, which means they are now heavy as rocks. Every few years, we actually have a need for a board and she races to that pile and, after several hours of figuring, pulling, un-piling and then re-piling, she comes up with the perfect board to use for some project, waving it in the air and cheering like she’s headed home from the hunt. To her, this proves that a big pile of rotting boards is a good thing to have and to keep forever. And, so, we do.

Power-washing is one of the most satisfying and filthy things I think I ever do. Years of grime and dirt fly off those boards or off that concrete and plaster me with so much ook I’m fairly certain I’ll never again be clean. I love the look of things, though, once I’ve knocked all the dirt and moss off of them, and I feel pretty much the same way about myself when I get out of the shower and realize I DID get clean, after all. It feels like a miracle.

We were both just about to run out of steam, so we threw together a quick, but delightful dinner – grilled chicken breasts which had been marinating in olive oil, fresh rosemary from our garden and some sliced garlic. Grilled asparagus and a salad completed our meal which made it all so lovely to see but, really, it’s so darned healthy, I hope it doesn’t make us sick. Guess we’ll have to have some ice cream later just to make sure.

Our beautiful granddaughter, Ruthie, will be arriving on Sunday, so we are excited about that. She’s amazingly talented in so many areas it’s hard to keep up with them all – singing, gymnastics and dance are the big ones, I think. Nana (Stef) is going to teach her to kayak – what fun.

Well, that’s all the news fit to print from this end of the country. I would wave to you, if I could lift my arms. Since I can’t, I’ll blow all of you a kiss. 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


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


No Roundup – but what’s the alternative?


I don’t like using Roundup on weeds and stuff because I don’t like Monsanto. However, weeds and stuff I don’t want grow in great abundance up here in the Pacific NW.

My high school friend, Pam Dent Webb, posted a recipe for a do-it-yersef weed zapping formula which, I must say, works like a charm.

In a half gallon of apple cider vinegar, add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt and 1 tsp. of Dawn dish-washing liquid. Shake it up and pour what you need into a spray bottle.

Squirt it on the offending plants when the sun is shining. By the next morning, they will be saying good-bye.

This works only on plants, though. Squirting it on humans won’t make them go away (I tried); but they’ll be plenty pissed. JS