April (nearly) Apres

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Things here are far from normal. I’d prefer not to go into detail, but hubby is again very unwell. Nevertheless, I found a way back into the gardening groove. I’ve done a lot in the last few days, without even getting near the years-old stash of seeds.

Wrong time of year, I know, but I planted the rest of the gladiolus hubby bought me last year (it might die, but it will certainly die if leave in the house another year). I also planted snakes-head fritillary, some ordinary lilies, three spider lilies, and about four other types of bulbs he bought for me last year. I’m almost glad he isn’t well enough to be shopping right now as I have hardly any room left! All these seed packets of potential life are kinda breaking my heart. I need about five more acres of land…

I have had a few happy surprises from older plants.


My peony has a bud! Just one, and it is soooo tiny. Today I saw that new shoots are coming up about 4in from the main plant, too. I think she is happy here!


I have an asparagus! One. Ah, well. 


Celeriac? I tried some from seed two years ago, no joy. This grew in a poor bonsai that himself bought me – bonsai died (one of the things I’m not good at). I dug it out and moved it to the Stupid Girl raised bed. Hope it keeps going as we have discovered that celeriac is delicious


Bluebells! Gift from his uncle. 


I am pretty sure these gladiolus are coming up way too early. Also shown is the world’s tallest gazania, still going strong. Tallest according to Ark, who should know; they are native to South Africa. 


The head of one of the red and black lilies I’ve had for years now. I love how they grow in an anti-clockwise spin. 


Ash tree that decided to grow in one of my containers. There aren’t any ash trees nearby at all! One of two I have. They take up a good amount of space, but I have a friend who wants them both for his very wooded property. He is welcome to have them – I figure if they like me, they will like him, too. 

My one and only tulip. You can’t tell here, but this is about the size of the top joint of my thumb. It is wee! I dug them all out last year and planted them nice and safe in sunshiney pots… I got one. Oh well! There is always next year. 


Mystery things. Look orchid-y with the purple spots, but the stems are just a straight solid shoot. May be another blow in? Garden is now plagued (in a good way) with native orchids. 


Rosemary back to its flowering tricks again. Second most neglected herb I have growing in a pot. I’m afraid to let it loose after what the oregano and sage have become (triffids, I’m not kidding).


Who doesn’t love these?


One for Ark – I rarely see grasshoppers here. This one is so tiny, that white thing is a dog hair. Poor thing was also missing one vital back leg. I ushered it into the grass, maybe it will have a chance there. 

Whaaat?

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The dog is shedding again. She’s an American Akita, so blows her coat twice a year – but man, to me it feels like she never stops! I brushed the hell out of her yesterday and only got about half of it out (if even).

Lumi, however, thought this was the best thing ever. To be honest, anything new to him is The Best Thing Ever. I’ve never had a more inquisitive cat in my life. He was right there underfoot, all six feet that were involved, and adding his four to the mix. Neko was not pleased as she always thinks I’m scary, and a cat sniffing around her feet didn’t help! She put up with it, anyway, and after I fought the static-cling and released her from the torture, I was left with half my kitchen covered in dog hair. 

And Lumi, still fascinated by the carnage.


Of course there is Lokii too, having a quick sniff and running off. But look at Lumi’s face! This needs a good caption.

Any takers? 

Gardening Gifts

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My sister sent me gardening stuff for Christmas! Along with a cool bug hotel, I got this:


Ah, she knows us too well! It’s a nice little kit with six types of seeds, biodegradable pots, plugs of soil, stakes for labelling, and a very nice, big pamphlet that not only tells you ideal planting advice but has drink recipes!


I planted everything but the strawberries on Sunday, as I have a different variety still going from last year and I don’t have much luck with them in any case.

I saved the last pot and plug for seeds that Kalamain from Kal’s Gardening sent me. Acer seeds! Hubby has wanted an acer for-ev-er. My first attempt at germination failed, but Kal sent extras so I’m trying again. He also sent me alliums and calendula ‘candyman yellow’ so I am trying those, too. Hubby loves yellow or orange flowers the best, so if I can grow him a maple tree and some yellow flowers, Kal will have made him a happy garden-observer!

All of them are in the heated propagator right now. I’m keeping a good eye on them, and the cinnamon basil is already sprouting. I also have bad luck with basil, so I’m 100% positive it is just the heat making it even think about living with me. 

I Want to Stage a Catnapping

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Of Piggie Peggy, of course.

Last week there was a dead cat on the side of the road right across from my work. My heart dropped like a lead weight when I saw it, afraid that it might be Piggie: it wasn’t. The poor thing laid there for three damn days before anyone did anything about it.

Strikes one and two against the area where she lives. Busy road, and no one cares about cats.

She has a great fear of cars, but you know anything can happen. She could get chased by a loose dog, or by one of the many many kids that walk past to the school nearby.

Then, there is this. She is SO pregnant. Any day she is going to be a young mom, again.


Fat belly, and all her nipples are swollen four times the size they used to be.

The problem for me is that I’m off work until May 2nd. She won’t have anyone looking out for her, and she will be looking for me. I’m not going to be there when she has them! Not even nearby! I know I’d likely not see her for weeks while they mature, of course, but I’d still be trying to get a glimpse of her. Her probable ‘home’ is the shed out back of one particular house right on the main road. I’m nearly certain she isn’t allowed inside, as she usually smells of kerosene.

I can say that I’m the only one who shows her affection, because she has learned so well how to get me to love on her the way I want to (don’t sharpen your nails on my leg. No, I’m not going to play with you with my hands). She was very unsocialised before she learned that laps and face-scratches are good things.

Then the last, worst, thought occurred to me. These people don’t get her any veterinary care – what if they are the type of people who also drown kittens? It’s not that uncommon here, disgustingly.


And then there are the scars. Both ears, her nose, and her shoulders are always a bit scabby or balding from injuries.


What a face! 

So, I’m seriously tempted to go and steal her away. The problem is: what I would do next? Obviously a vet visit straight away. Then what? We can’t take another cat, especially a pregnant one, into our house. She’s an outdoor cat in any case and would hate to be inside with the dog and two male cats twice her size. Not to mention that himself would kill me, we have enough troubles going on.

The only shelter we have outside would be our shed, which is a disaster of junk, tiny, and none too clean. Not really a step up for her, at all. And not a place for kittens.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I should go and knock on doors to see what the situation is? Offer to help rehome the kittens and get her spayed? What would you do? I know this sense of responsibility is my own fault, for making friends with her. I can’t help but feel that someone has to act responsibly. 

Some Flowers (Dinner-safe viewing)

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Oh wait, there is a bug also, but it’s not pooping.


The honesty is going absolutely crazy. It does look like a pretty weed, however. 


Not flowers. Yet. But this is my first peony and I just love it! All along the back are self-seeded digitalis, and a few weeds (oops). But isn’t the peony just lovely, stems and all? I hope she blooms this year, but as I’ve said this is a bought plant and I have no idea how old it is, so maybe not this year as she might still be a teenager. I don’t care, the foliage is beautiful, too. 


Purple hyacinth. A bit out of focus, sorry!


Pink hyacinth. Dirty because this one was flat on her face from the wind a few days ago, and it hasn’t rained much since to wash off the muck. I’m happy that she came back to stand tall again.

I’ve not seen many bees yet this spring, but I have seen hoverflies. They like to warm themselves right by my front door. Freaks himself out as he thinks anything that looks like a bee is going to attack him. I’m working on that.


The steel rods were in the recycle bin at work, so I brought them home to hammer into the ground as supports for my raspberries. The ground is so rocky and hard here that I can’t get a bamboo cane deep enough to be a proper support, unless I start a major excavation. Here is to hoping that these will work. When I get around to it…

Poopie Doopie You so Loopie

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That title is a snippet of roadside bathroom graffiti that my hero Stephen King immortalised.

We don’t have a fan-vent in our bathroom. Well, we do, but it is a very current work in progress and it literally doesn’t have a current as of yet. So whenwe bathe, the tiny room gets all steamed up. Since I have plants in there that I don’t want the cats to eat, the only ventilation is to open the small top window. 

Himself had a shower on Tuesday morning, and when I got home that evening I immediately saw this on our shower curtain:


That looks like bird-poop to me! All we can figure is that a small bird came in through the open window, perched on the curtain rail long enough to stain the curtain forever, and got back out. Without knocking anything over in a panic, which is pretty impressive! 

A Lot Of What Is This?

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It’s been warm, mostly. I’m talking hovering right around 10 deg C or 50 F. Heat waaaaave!

My plants think so, anyway.

The azalea is small, but blooming like a mad thing. The pic I took was a blurry mess, so I’m not sharing. The peony seems to grow an inch a day, and is such a lovely dark reddish purpleish maroonish that I think it needs a colour named after it instead of my awkward description.

The bleeding heart that hubby bought last year is very small, but in flower.


It has just the one stem, and very minimal leaves, so I don’t think it is so happy in the current location. We will see, next year I expect.

The columbines are going beserk right next to the bleeding heart, now that the not-sweet-pea’s mess of dead vines have been cleared out.

But what I really want to know is… what the heck are these?


This was taken a couple of days ago, and there are many more flowers now. This/these were given to me by iDJ’s uncle last year and they did SFA then. This year? Going crazy.

And what are these? 


Also accidently came over from the Gardening Uncle. They are in pots he gave me, that were meant to be just bluebells (the long narrow leaves). I have no clue.


I should know what these are, as himself bought them for me last year as ground cover. I’m sure that I posted then what they are, but I’ve forgotten now. They are starting to do the intended job, at least.

We Need Some Lumi!

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This writing about what I’ve read is starting to annoy me already, as I will have several books under my belt before I can be arsed to post. I finished another one today…

I need to tell you about Lumi instead!

He is MASSIVE. Not quite 10 months old, he weighs nearly a stone (14lbs to a stone, so over 6 kilos). He won’t be fully grown until he is a year and a half old. Whoa! I seem to have a little white tiger in my house.


Neko and Lumi being buddies in the sunshine this week. Neko still has her St Patrick’s bandanna on – she loves it. Neko is about 36 kilos (just under 80lbs) so it does help to give an idea of Lumi’s size.


Such a long tail, too.


Mid-air action shots! He loves leaping to catch a toy (feathers onna stick are the best). It was sooo hard to get these. The rest of the play session was a white blur. 

Books I’ve Read #22 – Sandstorm¬†

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By James Rollins.

This is one from my work library, so it is a book I literally judged by its cover and took with me to read in the sunshine (or not) with Piggy Cat (or not).

As such, I consider it a disposable book. By that I mean not only that someone else bought it and gave it away, but that I have no intention of logging any of this book in my long term memory. That said – for an action novel there is a good amount of science fiction and history, which are both enjoyable for me. It also seems this is book one of a series, so if you like it, there are more to come. Assuming same characters in different situations. 

Books I’ve Read #21 – Baal

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Robert McCammon’s first published book!

I’ve been a fan of McCammon since Boy’s Life – one of my all-time favourite books.

Baal being his first, I find it is rough and not very polished, and has a few jarring bits of writing. Especially at the start. Once he finds his stride it isn’t bad. So glad he kept writing.