December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Early Spring and....Garden Woes!

Hola!  Back again, after having spent a fabulous hour or so out on the deck enjoying this amazing stretch of warm weather (well into the 60's today in SE Wisconsin, woooo woooo!).  but now it's clouding over and it's gone all still.  Storm is coming.  We're supposed to get lots of rain later this evening.  The ground is mushy from the rain/snow/rain we've had the past three weeks that hasn't sunk in all the way down to ground water level, and now yet more rain, and it's not anywhere near April yet.  But March DID come roaring in like the proverbial Lion, darlings, that's for sure!  Hope the month goes out like a Lamb and we won't get too many of those April showers!

It's been so warm, my silly day lilies are already coming up along the sides of the house, and it's far too early to get out and start spring clean-up, so the beds are a super-mess!  Hmmmm, not to mention I need to have a load of dirt brought in and dumped along the foundation because of the never-ending settling issues...

You can see part of my not so super-duper deck one of my brothers-in-law built for me in one day back in 2001.  It's slowly falling apart now but I love it anyway.  He put the boards cup side up, unfortunately!  Guess he never watched This Old House... He put it up while I was at work one day and the original smallish-deck was done by the time I got home.  If I'd been here I would have thrown a fit about how he built it but - alas! My sister Darlene (his wife) complained that it was "too small" and so the next day he added some boards, LOL!  It was larger but still not the best construction.  Oh well.

 It will have to ripped out eventually because it's illegal (we didn't pull a permit to build it) but I will gladly fight City Hall about that because it's a free-floating structure, it's not attached to the house at all!  Which means it's been slowly drifting away from the house as the slope of my "hill" has been gradually retreating away from the patio door over the past 11 years. LOL!  Don't care, still love every season putting up my cheapo green plastic table and equally cheapo green plastic chairs that were attacked some years ago by a crazed woodpecker...  And my big old umbrella that keeps all the bird poop off me during the summer. 

I don't do deck maintenance, darlings.  That's husband crap and I don't have a husband.  Mr. Don is a significant other since 1999 but he's not and never will be my husband. 

Lots of nut shells piled up from feeding my squirrels over the winter, and with the constant winds during the past 7 days not only do I have a whole wagon-load of currently blown-down branches to clean up, I've also got tons to clean up from late last winter!  Look at those suckers, piles on top of piles.  And with the perennials already coming up and the ground still too soggy to clean up properly, how will I ever be able to rake everything out now???
See the branches downed by the past week's winds?  That's in addition to what I wasn't able to get cleand up last season,
which was a combination of rains and winds, but very little snow.  Didn't make it easy to get out there and rake!
This photo was taken in the early morning sunshine before the Sun made it around to the south exposure.  My doggy, Spencer, who died in March, 1999, is buried under that concrete birdbath down in the "island."
Meanwhile, I've finally thrown in the load of reds to launder that I brought downstairs this morning.  Daylight Savings Time says it's after 4 p.m. but my body clock is now, perverse body that it is, saying it's only after 3 p.m.  Funny how it never did seem to adapt when we switched back an hour last autumn and insisted on waking me up in pitch darkness at 5 a.m. every morning.  Didn't matter that it was also still pitch black outside at 6 a.m. every morning.  Nope!  My body does what it wants, and it gets more and more stubborn with each passing year.  Damn!

More yard pics from EARLY this morning:

Arbor was knocked over a week ago by the strong winds.  The ground is still too soft to attempt to restake it back upright!  Squirrel sighting -- can you see him???  He's sitting up with his tail sticking out to the right, chomping on a nut.

Just about center, lower part, you can see one of my little furry fat squirrels coming up toward the patio door for a nut.  The juniper on the left used to be nearly twice as large before I pruned it back last summer.

Geez, lots of work to be done to get the yard in shape for summer.  Last year I hired a lawn service that came in and over-sprayed and killed off my ground ivy as well as grass intertwined, unfortunately.  So now I have very large bare patches that need to be reseeded.  Now how am I suppossed to do that when I'm not at home during the day to water down the seeded areas, I ask you?  I fired those dildo-heads!


  1. Jan,
    You crack me up!! I LOVE your wit!!
    I have lilies and hostas poking out of the ground!! I am still waiting for a Mother of all snow storms to hit because it seems like we just can't get away with such a mild winter.Mother Nature usually corrects herself and we have had some of our best snow storms in March...
    While you missed an hour of sleep by turning the clocks ahead, I got to only work 7 hours instead of 8! WHOA!!


  2. Hey Deb, I keep expecting a major snowstorm too. We've some doozies in March and the latest honest to gosh blizzard I remember one year was April 7th, we got like 15 or 16 inches of snow and it took me 5 hours to get home! The year this house was built, 1990, we had a terrible ice storm in May. That year was a mild winter and very early spring, too. The ice storm did terrible damage to trees and shrubs in the area -- lots of breakage and die off because everything had been fully leafed out! I used to have a big old Norway maple on the property that was there for years after the house was built. It sustained a lot of damage in that May ice storm and I think that contributed to its eventual demise. I had to have it removed in 2001. It was a huge tree and its shade canopy was nearly a third of the backyard! The shade was so thick, though, that grass would not grow underneath its canopy, so I had a lot of bare earth in the backyard back then!