Archives

Black Flag

I’ve had a pretty bad month. I’m hopefully going to be bouncing back soon. I’m struggling a bit on content for the blog, so I though I’d share the other side of my brain in this post. I’ve already shared my “Pep Me up! Wooo Yeah! You go girl” song (You’ve Got Another Thing Coming – By Judas Priest) Can you say MANIC?!?

Here’s the bi-polar side of things. Kings X wrote Black Flag back in 1992. I typed out the lyrics, if it’s too much metal for ya πŸ˜‰ The video looks like it was made on a budget of $500 (really hoaky), but the song is great.

A year in the hole had taken its toll

When I took a good look at me

And what a surprise the scope of my eyes could only see black

And I remember someone who was taking them two by two

and lately I’d become the one who’d have laughed at you too!

There was a Black Flag on my morning

There was a Black Flag on my day

There was a Black Flag on everything around and I was walking backwards again I walked in the day, my usual way, looking through a 2 X 4

It colored my view, I couldn’t see you

Or maybe I just wouldn’t

And I remember the time when the sunlight fell on my head

And lately I’d become a member of the walking dead

There was a Black Flag on my morning

There was a Black Flag on my day

There was a Black Flag on everything around and I was walking backwards again and I know that I was wrong.

It was up to me if I wanted to see

And I remember the day when I saw the mask on my face And I knew that it was time to put the thing in its place I’d put the

Black Flag on my morning

I’d put the Black Flag on my day

I’d put the Black Flag on everything around And I was walking backwards again And I know that I was wrongΒ 

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

I’m Hiding! Peek-a-boo With Your Dog

Breck doesn’t beg while I eat, however when he wants a snack, he’ll start the ‘Staring Game’. Clearly, it starts with a stare. He then moans.. and again. Then cries a bit. He might move right into a full bark or a Grrr. At this point, I usually try to move, put a foot in the way or blanket over my head. He’s smarter than a 3 year old. Here is just another stupid attempt at the hoo-man to fool the dog. πŸ˜‰ Riiiiight.

Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Flat Rabbit

I believe everything cycles. Things go up, things go down. The perfect song that comes to mind is called Turn Turn Turn, by the Byrds. Did you know that the song is word for word the first eight verses of the third chapter of the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes? These tid-bits are what keep my Trivial Pursuit gold metal on the wall πŸ˜‰

Anywho.

The reason I launched into cycles was to describe the rabbit population around here. I’ve lived in this house for 13 years now. When we first moved in, there were enough rabbits around here to make stew for the whole block! They munched through all my veggies, perennials and had me swerving out of the way of them on my street. Don’t know why I didn’t just mow them down. Turkey vultures need to eat too.

The next year the rabbits started strong, however shortly after June, I barely saw any. I didn’t really notice any correlations, just that there were no rabbits.

Fast forward to living here for 7 years. Six of those years were spent enjoying my life without rabbits! I could grow my spinach, beets and carrots without having to build a fortress around them. The seventh year was the return. My Rudbeckia was decimated. I thought I was having seed failure in my beets. My dogs started digging under the fence. The rabbits came back with a vengeance. Again, they were everywhere.

Later that year, I started to notice how many birds of prey were circling overhead. Many times I would hear the loud chirping from birds during a combined effort of mobbing. The clincher was having fur and rabbit pieces strewn across my lawn on a weekly basis.

Fast forward another 7 years…

As my boys are sight orientated, they seldom notice things that are still. I will normally notice something in the yard before they can get to it. Sadly, my hubby isn’t as observant. After getting home from a long day, he opened the back door for the boys to go out. He propped the door open, and sat down to have a smoke. It wasn’t more that 10 minutes, when Breck brought the last half of a rabbit to him. He just put it down at my husband’s feet and looked up at him.Β  How nice of him! Hubby took a shot for me (He knew I’d blog this!!! Thanks Sweetie!), scooped it up and put it out front. He then went out back to see what had gone down back there. There was clearly a scene of carnage out there. Only fur and bloody pieces remained. He assumed the bird was able to take off with at least one half. He gathered all the pieces and promptly buried what was left in the front yard, away from the boys.

I titled this post Flat Rabbit, because one of the boys favorite toys is a stuffingless rabbit, called Flat Rabbit. This was a whole nother type of flat rabbit!!

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Doggy Dilemmas ~ Squirrel Edition

I was a stupid human…. I admit it. I didn’t think over the new location for the suet feeder enough. I wanted to use the shepherd’s hook that was previously holding the suet and thistle to hold my new hummingbird feeder. Now I still wanted to see my Woodpecker and Blue Jay friends, so I though hanging the suet/thistle on a long hook between the windows would work.

Nope. Mom squirrel was formulating solutions to the new placement within a few hours. This did not make my Oreo very happy! She flung herself at the screen and scrambled up to her prize!

What are you doing, climbing on my house?!? Oreo yelled in Dog.

She didn’t seem phased. Now I had to get up and knock in the window. She reeeeeally didn’t want to give up on the fresh, peanut filled suet, however she ran down the screen. I have since moved the suet to the clematis trellis. Not any better of a location to be safe from squirrels, however no screens would be climbed to get to it.

I was really shocked her claws didn’t cause any damage to the screens. I would have soooo been in the doghouse. These screens are less than 6 months old.

Previous Dilemma’s in a Dog’s Life 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 8

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Weekend Coffee Share ~ 6/24/2017

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Can I offer you a cup of sludge (Folger’s coffee that over flows the filter, even though I’m only making two cups)? Since I flood my coffee with cream and stevia, it really doesn’t matter if I buy cheap coffee… I can’t taste the difference πŸ˜‰

My hubby is off to work another Saturday. He feels guilty if he doesn’t work it before we take the next few days off. Me? I don’t feel guilty one bit for taking off work. It’s a dog eat dog out there, however I’m not planing on dying before I enjoy this life of mine.

I always remember my parents listening to Paul Harvey and his show, “The Rest of the Story”. Β  It irks me that news affiliates rarely report the outcomes of stories, due to the need to grab folks attention with new, fascinating stories, rather than ‘dwell’ on old ones. In the spirit of Paul, I figured this post would be a good place to update you’all about some things.

Back in January, when I was due for a salon visit to cover my roots, I made a decision to stop dying and let my inner silver fox appear. Which I have been, sans one visit to dye the lower hair to match my natural color (darker than where I was) so, in theory, I’ll never have to dye again. My hairdresser did not dye my roots, however I do feel she went a bit darker than my natural color. Honestly, I love it! It really is a dark, dark brown. It actually does compliment my complexion quite well, I thing.

The roots are about 2 inches long now. Clearly, I have a few Lily Munster streaks right in the front… Awesome! I’ve been taking biotin, and feel it’s really making my hair grow like a weed. It’s long enough now, that when I’m driving, I go to check blind-spots and realize I can’t because I’m leaning on my hair. Very happy with these results. I need to learn some cool braiding styles now. I do have anxiety issues, that force me to play with my hair… I might as well put those issues to good use and learn updo’s πŸ˜‰

Both of us have been to the DDS now. I knew hubby was worse off than me, however…. 😯 I didn’t really think we were going to be that far apart. My visit went pretty much as predicted. This new DDS had ALL of the most recent gizmo crap available in the DDS world! All my x-rays were splashed across the 52″ flat screen mounted on the wall, followed by real-time photos of each tooth, front and back! When was the last time you saw the back of your mouth from the back of your tongue?!? After that was a periodontal exam… 232-332-222-332… only one 4! Awesome, I can squash that quickly. She agreed that the 2 teeth can just be removed and sadly, found 3 small cavities. I’m slated for the chair after vacation. In total, $1,000. Not bad.

My husband was not so lucky. We talk about many things, however the DDS is a touchy subject. Not so much that he didn’t want to go or anxiety issues, its because he realizes it’s kind of a necessity to quit smoking to avoid issues in healing his mouth. In short, if you’re not aware, when you get teeth pulled, you should avoid ‘sucking’ on things (straws, candy, cigs) to avoid dry socket. Since I quit smoking in 2006, I’ve only mentioned to him quitting a hand full of times. Nagging rarely gets you anywhere in this house… I know the phrase, ‘you won’t quit until you want to’. We have touched on it. I can just say, I hope he can do it. I need him to be around. Without him, I’d be lost.

After we talked about his visit, I didn’t realize he still had all four wisdom teeth. Yikes… and they are all impacted. I was lucky, I didn’t have lower and tops are tucked away forever in my skull. He also needs four crowns and a couple of root canals. All in all… $15,000 was the bottom line. No worries, let me get you a tissue for the coffee that blew out your nose.

I’ll have to give a report in the future.

Work has been better, slower this past week. There is always a slight lull at this time. I think many of the 1%ers travel after the kiddos get out of school. No one is home to complain. I have been teaching my young padiwan how to use my quoting program… At least how to retrieve existing quotes when I’m absent. I told her she should learn as much as she can at every job she works at. I told her, her goal should always be to take the bosses job away. At least that was always my strategy. She’s smart, I feel she will go far. She reminds me of me a little bit πŸ˜‰

Otherwise, on a whole, we’re all good! Everyone is healthy and happy =-) I hope you are all the same! Enjoy the long 4th of July weekend, if you’re with me in the states. We’ll be enjoying Door County, Wisconsin in the toyhauler, with the boys. I’ll be trying out my Instagram skills out that weekend with the picturesque scenery of ‘The Thumb’. I may not be able to join you’all next Saturday, however I’ll check in the next.

See ya!

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Ah, Home Sweet Home!

This is my front door. I took the left side photos May 30th and the right, June 20th.
Β Β Β Β Β 

Most of April and all of May was a rain-out. We had 10 inches (25cm) of rain in those 8 weeks. Even when it wasn’t raining, Sweet Sol was hiding behind her fluffy, white shawl. There’s not even a trace of her shadow on the wall. At least, the foliage looks green and lush in this light!

June 9th it got hot… like Hell Hot. I’m not complaining… Yet.

Things grew very well until the heat. Things were looking really sad and I even had to water my established perennials.

Β Β Β Β Β Β 

We don’t use our front door. It’s too awkward to enter here. No overhang. No space. No where for shoes… It’s so much easier to enter from the garage. It’s like having a huge foyer! So, this year we finally decided to embrace our inner Red Neck and start sitting on the porch. It’s so nice to enjoy all the beautiful things that fill our senses. The flowers smell so sweet, the fountain sounds so melodic, the birds look so joyful and the chipmunks make us smile.

Ah, Home Sweet Home!

 

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Ah, the Weekend, a First-Time Coffee Share…

I follow a Wonder Woman from Australia named Rowena. Why is she Wonder Woman on top of being a Wonderful Woman? Read her about page on: Beyond the Flow.

Every Saturday, Rowena participates in the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Nerd in the Brain, where her and others discuss their week over coffee and many other beverages. This weekend, I’ve decided to join them.

It has been a pretty good week, my hours at work this week went down to 53. I’m starting to see some headway, as the piles on my desk are getting thinner. By July, I may be down to 47 hours πŸ˜‰ I’m not here to complain about work, tho.

Like we did for the Memorial Day weekend, we’ve decided to take the day following the Forth of July holiday off also. The stress of driving home with everyone else, on the same day, has turned us bonkers. We have always had a good drive leaving for our destination, as we leave a couple of days before the long weekend. Our bosses may not be happy with us, however I don’t give a rat’s ass!

We’re going to Door County, Wisconsin again. Specifically, Sister Bay. We’re normally pretty fickle and don’t go to a location twice, however there were so many things to see here, we didn’t get to them all in one trip. We most likely won’t even finish the list this trip, either! It’s super beautiful there, and I highly recommend it. It’s dubbed, ‘The Cape Cod of the Midwest’. Hopefully, we will be able to participate in an art class or two. For whatever reason, many artists have settled here and open their doors to teach their talents.

Before we leave on our trip, we both have to go to the dentist for some work. I thought I was the sissy-la-la of the relationship when it came to going to the DDS…. Au contraire mon frΓ¨re!! My husband wears that hat! I only need two teeth pulled, unless they are able to talk me into implants. Let’s see… a $500 bill or a $10,000 bill? I’m so over spending a mint on my mouth. From childhood to now, I’m guessing I’ve dumped at least $125,000 into my mouth. I know teeth are important, however all the rest of mine are in great shape, these are the farthest back and don’t effect the opposite ones on top.

I’m here in The States and I often feel like we put too heavy of a worth on looks (cosmetic surgery), including dental work. Please don’t take offense to this running joke in the U.S., British folks, but we always poke fun at your crooked teeth. I’m sure this poke was dreamed up by a DDS marketing team for them to justify the advertisements for many, unnecessary dental procedures… Anyway, what I’m trying to get at is, do other counties, especially with publicly funded healthcare systems, push for dental implants or do they opt to pull the tooth? I’d love input. Research here tells me I need to opt for the $10,000 method. I’m just not sold. Sadly, my husband is in a worse boat than I am, due to smoking and having not gone to a DDS in years. PS – We do not have dental insurance.

Otherwise, I’m living the dream here in the Midwest! May’s rains are over and we’re finally enjoying some heat. The saying used to be, “April showers, bring May flowers”. I’ve changed that to, “May’s doom and gloom, brings June blooms”!! Flowers have been a bit early this year compared to the recent past. If you don’t know my blog, I post blooming flower photos by date (phenology) and compare them to previous years. The next two months will be a blur of color, as it’s the bloomiest time of the year, here. =-D

I thank you for taking the time to share a cup of Joe with me! I look forward to joining you more often.

Enjoy your weekend!! Ilex

Macrame Plant Hanger

Way back in the day… The days before cable TV, Game Stations and other unpractical entertainment, you had fun using practical techniques and turning them into art.

My Mother loved to knit and crochet. Her fingers flew and knots were fashioned at a speed I was surprised didn’t start a friction fire! I, on the other hand, couldn’t figure out where I had dropped all my stitches and became very good at knitting triangles. At least they were good trivets. πŸ˜›

One year at summer camp, they offered a macrame class on making an owl. Owls were my Mother’s favorite, so I hopped on board. I was hooked! I liked the slower, more precise work of macrame. If you tied something wrong, it was easily undone and redone. All of these knots are taken from different, practical needs of many professions including, arborists, boaters, business men (ties), climbers and even S&M fetish folks!

When I was thinking about getting a hanging plant for the corner up front, I remembered how much fun I had making these simple, plant hangers. I ran off to the local hardware store looking for supplies. I bought a ring for the top and the rope, which was a thick, cotton laundry line. It has been awhile since I have had to tie any kind of decorative knots, however I’ve always had a good memory for these things. I did take a quick, 5-minute course from YouTube University on some basic knots, and off I went!

I decided to use a couple of the four basic knots I learned from the video below. On top I used the spiral knots and at the sides and bottom a slip knot. I wasn’t going to get too fancy on the sides, as the plant will quickly cover my hard work.

I was a bit rusty, however I was proud of my creation! My Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) looks pretty happy in her cotton hammock.

Β© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl