No Fluff

We're heading off to have breakfast with Matthew this morning, and so I don't have much time to write. Besides...I don't really have much to tell you, but I do have pictures. You'd be disappointed if there were no pictures, wouldn't you? We were supposed to go walking with Matthew too, but our crappy weather continues. I've always said that summer doesn't really arrive in this part of the world until after the 4th of July, and I take no pleasure in being proven right year after miserable weather year. So anyway...here goes with the pictures and no-fluff writing. (Trying to control my verbosity for a change.)

Sadie was enjoying a nap on the catio in the warm (and rare moment of) sunshine.

That made me want to get out for a walk around too. Checking in on the Gracie Memorial Catnip Garden, I noticed that the recently-transplanted catnip is still alive. This is a good sign. Not much to see here, but there it is.

One of the "Vera" irises is blooming. Vera was my father's next wife after my mother died. Without getting into too much family drama, I'll just say she tried and succeeded to drive a wedge between me and my father. I blame her for being such an awful and spiteful woman. I blame him for letting it happen. I accept responsibility for whatever part I played in that whole unfortunate situation. Whatever the case, in a fleeting moment of charity, she passed along some iris bulbs. They've never done well, but one is blooming right now. It's hard for me to love them. Vera passed away about a year and a half ago at the age of 97. My father is still living at the age of 94. We have not spoken in nearly 20 years. Please do not offer up solutions for this. It's really better that way.

On a sunnier note, seven of the original 12 sunflowers are doing well. It's always exciting when they get ready to bloom.

This lilac was planted by the previous owner of our house and it has been trying to die for at least 15 years...the length of time we've lived here. The past three years, it has bloomed. Go figure. Its nearly-dead stalk is ornamentally shaped, which is the reason we continue to allow it to stay in the garden.

There are flower buds on all six surviving tomato plants.

The lettuce is ready for harvesting.

Another rhododendron is putting on a show.

And the lavender is blooming.

This can mean only one thing: Bees Knees cocktails. These are not on our diet.

Since it was a rare warm afternoon, we sat out on the patio drinking them. A squirrel joined us to eat his strawberry.

He was so not bothered by our presence that he sat just feet away from me and scratched an itch.

The new "catio" window has been installed on the truck camper. It's hard to see in this image, but the old window was a frameless style that only tilted open a few inches at the bottom. Now, it has a framed style that slides up. It's the one on the right in the image below.

From the inside, it looks like this. There's a shelf below where kitties can sit and ponder whether to move out onto the catio.

Both the screen and the window slide up, making a wide opening for two cats to come and go.

We'll be taking a few driveway camping trips soon to see how we do together. Also, on my way out the door, I snapped this picture of the magnetic bulletin board we installed. There were no magnetic surfaces in the truck camper, and I must have a place for the refrigerator magnets I collect while traveling.

This is on our diet. Hoisin Chicken with Soba Noodles and Sugar Snap Peas and some green beans. I learned a new way of making fresh green beans on the diet. I've always boiled the snot out of them. These are stir fried in a hot skillet with the lid on to steam them into tenderness. They're really good that way. I've tried this with other hard vegetables like asparagus and broccoli. Really good.

The Flower Fairy paid a visit this morning. Someone drove up in a car I didn't recognize and left these flowers at the door. Hm.

Okay...gotta go. How's that for no fluff?


liniecat said...

A squirrel eating 'his' strawberry?
Not one of yours then? Lol

Sorry but I'd haul them Iris bulbs out - maybe squirrels eat them!

Annette Mandel said...

Pretty sure Molly left the flowers for Smitty. Are you growing sunflowers for the squirrels? A78mandel at yahoo dot com

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Bella brought me a bunny today (I rescued). We might see the day lilies soon. I went with an herb garden this year and stuck a few marigolds in amongst. I did put in some new lavender plants where I removed the whispy creeping flox (son took those). I'm hoping to attract butterflies, not squirrels.

Vicki W said...

You are a better person than I. Those Vera bulbs would have been burned in a bonfire long ago in my world.

WoolenSails said...

I love your gardens, everything looks so beautiful, wish I could get plants to grow, but mine keep dying.
I will have to have my soil tested, it was good but I think it changed over the years.
Love how you did the window. I think of adding to ours to make more storage, but I have to keep the weight down, and i don't want to do any damage that might mess up a trade in.


crazy quilter said...

Al the pretty planting a are doing well it appears. I say run that silly squirrel off!. He is conjuring up trouble I am sure of it! Hope the rain subsides soon so you can get out a little more often with the kitties.

gpc said...

Ironic that something so lovely can bloom from such a bitter experience. I'll need to ponder whether I can find a similar loveliness from the bitter relationships in my life. Probably not, and anyway, to what purpose. Pretty is as pretty does, I guess. I could use one of those bees knees tonight.

piecefulwendy said...

I enjoyed this no fluff post. However, you do realize, don't you, that it might be time to name the squirrels? Since they are coming around and making themselves at home, they should have names. Don't you think? Your flowers are pretty, I love the tenacity of the dying lilac :-) The dinner looked yummy. Hope you enjoy your breakfast with Matthew!

Dana Gaffney said...

I agree, you may need to start naming the squirrels, they obviously think they are part of the family. The Vitriolic Vera flower is just plain white, your other flowers put it to shame even though it tries to be showy.
So, you have a secret admirer? We want to know who sent the flowers.

Susan said...

Just the facts, ma'am. A picture paints a thousand words. Sadie looks so sweet and comfortable. I have done drive-way camping trips. When my husband and I would go visit my parents and other family was there, we would sleep in their mini motor home in the driveway. The white iris is pretty even though the relationship they came from was not. I have a white lilac that refuses to die as well. I don't have the heart to just cut it down when it still blooms.

Natureluvr57 said...

I love this time of year when plants are bursting into bloom. My tomatoes have lots of blooms but I see no little tomatoes forming. One already had a tomato when I bought it and it's growing.I snipped my first burpless cucumber yesterday, can't wait until they produce enough to pickle with onions. The zucchini had lots of male (duds) flowers but finally it has some females with fruit forming. It seems the first few always rot. I didn't grow any last year and I missed my zucchini nut bread, fried patties, etc. My trumpet vine burst into bloom 2 days ago and the hummingbirds are delighted. I love the stained glass kitty in the memorial garden. I bought a cat mint plant and before I could plant it, I spotted the feral cats having their way with it. I trimmed it up, planted it and plopped a milk carton over it with a brick on top. Hopefully it will get established but I don't think it will have a chance once I uncover it. I hope the new catio door works out well. I would love to have a catio for my cats, I enjoyed watching the progress. Mom is from the south and has always cooked green beans down with a bit of bacon drippings. I know they say it's not as healthy but I love them that way. Love the bouquet!

Beth said...

This morning I watched Anne Lamott's Ted talk, and one of the things she said was, "If people wanted us to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better."
As I've grown older, I've learned that situations happen in families that in earlier days I would have said would never occur. I've surely seen that in my own life, and I hope it has taught me to be careful about offering "wise" advice about other people's family situations.
Once again, a big hug and kiss to this quilt. I think one reason it brings such a wave of emotion to me--and, apparently to other people--is because the original photo looks so much like a picture we could find in any of our old photo albums, and the quilt even more, because of the blank-canvas face. And I also think your love for your brother shines through. This quilt is such a treasure.

Kate said...

Sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon. Beautiful scenery and good company (not counting the squirrels). Don't feel alone, you aren't the only one that has decided that not talking to a parent is just better for all involved. Sometimes it really just needs to be that way.

Brown Family said...

I hope your tomatoes start producing. Again this year, I have enough to feed us and the whole neighborhood, even with the varmints helping. Not sure if it is birds, squirrels, bunny's or what! . I had to pull the 1015 onions. The tops had fallen and they looked pathetic! Some of the sets appeared to have never taken hold and matured. However, I now have a bowl full of cocktail onions plus some big enough to slice! Our growing season may be over. As the temps climb into the triple digits, things tend to stop producing.

The flowers the Flower Fairy left are gorgeous!

quiltzyx said...

Sadie is surely enjoying the big house catio, isn't she? :) And now the truck camper is ready for its catio too. Oh joy!

Thanks for the tour around the garden, beautiful stuff growing at your house. Despite the squirrels. Hmmm, squirrel names...? I don't know about that.

Green beans are my very favorite vegetable - any kind but the frozen kind. Those squeak when you bite them. I can even eat them right out of a can. (zzyzx used to come running whenever I opened a can of green beans and then would be so disappointed that it wasn't tuna! LOL)

Such a beautiful bouquet!