Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Yard Views and Such

Lynne, one of my readers and a Casita friend, wanted to see some photos of home.  Here are some of what I see every day - and of course these are before everything has started to bud out.

Front yard looking south.

Front yard again looking south towards Turtleback Mt.

My backyard looking northward.

Looking eastward from front yard on street side.
The arrow is pointing at a Desert Willow tree, which
is related to the catalpa tree. Hope it has flowers
this year.

Front yard towards front door/patio, looking northward.

The creeping forsythia in full bloom.

Looking southwest towards Eggie sitting across the street.

I just love what Geri did to the water heater door.

I saw the most unusual cloud formation the other day.  It was like a cloud "sunburst". The "sun" is seen just above the roof, then the "rays" radiating out from the "sun" and from the second ring.  I don't know enough about weather to know what is going on, but it was just utterly beautiful.

NOTE: I sent a Twitter pic below to Mark Ronchetti, Chief Meteorologist at KRQE in Albuquerque, NM and asked him what caused this formation and his response was high cirrus clouds made of ice crystals. I had just never seen them in a wheel pattern before with the streaks being the spokes.  Lived too long in Kansas I guess.

And the windows are getting tinted.  Just a couple more to go.

Well, back to work - finish windows, tin can luminaries and whatever else ye little brain comes up with - playtime!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It Is Hard to Stay Inside - in February.

I am not use to this. February, I am doing yard work? I haven't planted any flowers yet as I have been told by my son and others that there is, for the most part, one more hard freeze or cold snap this Winter - anytime from late February to mid-March. So I am planning.

For several months I have been reading up on local plants, drought tolerant plants and shrubs. Flowers and shrubs that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, colorful and as I said drought tolerant and adaptable to this area and zone. I am saving soda and water bottles that I can incorporate as watering devices in my potted flowering plants;
Tin can luminaries on cinder block wall. Center & right
are painted, left is not.  Right & left have patterns
punched out. Center's light just shines downward.
experimenting with tin cans on the cinder block wall as luminaries and pathway lights using solar yard lights. Besides the many cans of spray paint Geri & Chuck left, I had quite a few too, so will be experimenting with lots of colors on the wall. I would like to add a decorative back splash type thingies around each one.  Am still experimenting with different ways to put them up so they will stay.

I have fixed a large plastic juice jug, filled with water, over the birds' watering hole to create a slow filling device. If the stream of water is fast enough I have seen a couple of birds sit under the stream. For the most part, I set it so it does a fast drip which has to be adjusted periodically as the level of water decreases and the air temperature increases. I learned that doves will siphon their water up through their bills and swallow with their heads down, unlike most birds we see dipping their bills in the water and then lifting their heads to swallow.

My cookbook organizer - a former dish rack.
Former owner Geri left behind a metal dish drainer. I have held onto it thinking there would be some use for it someday. I prefer dish drainers that sit down in the sink is why am not using it. This became a project, hmmm what is it good for. Well one day 3 or 4 weeks ago I was trying to stack my cookbooks, that I had decided to keep, in an orderly manner. Light bulb went off - the dish drainer as my cookbook organizer!  Works beautiful, keeps them upright, from sliding all over and right where I can easily see them. The silverware cup holder holds pencils, pens, scissors, etc.

For those of you of the senior age (or you are carrying for elderly folks/parents) you know there are "aids" to help us maneuver - bathtub rails, the wave-style door handles for easier gripping - and painting the edge of steps for our deteriorating eyes to see in daytime and nighttime. A few nights ago I was sitting out on the patio after dark just enjoying the sounds and sights of the nighttime. I hadn't turned the outside light on and when I went to put my foot down on the bottom step to go inside, I misjudged. Thank heavens I was holding onto the railing. In the dark it was hard to see the edge of the step - sooooo painted step edges became another project.

Much better, even in daylight. No more bruised shins.

Okay, that is enough for now. I am trying to learn to put only one space after a period, so please excuse me if you find two (oh horrors) spaces after a period. I may just give up and revert to the old typewriter method we were taught many moons ago.  What is wrong with that?  It got us by for many years. I guess it just dates us.