Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
Hello Everyone, It has been a long time since I have posted here. I hope that all of my old friends (and you know who you are) are doing fine. Spring has sprung here in Cincinnati, in fact it has over-sprung. We are about six weeks ahead of schedule, if there is a schedule. I love gardening, nature, the outdoors, and being part of this magnificent plan that keeps the world turning. Take time to enjoy what we have been given, look at what is right under your nose, enjoy the miracle that is life. Man, everything is looking good right now, the flowers, the trees, everything. Best wishes to everyone, Rick
Things show up in our yard and gardens, all kinds of things. Some of what shows up are appreciated, some are not. We generally like the various animals that come around. Frogs and toads, baby rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks, these are things that we enjoy seeing in the gardens. A few weeks ago a small turtle found it’s way to our small garden pond and made it his home.
“Oh, it’s so cute,” Marilyn said when she saw the baby turtle swimming in the goldfish pond. “I hope the little turtle likes it here, and it stays, it’s sooo cute!” She went on and on about the baby turtle, and how cute it was swimming in the pond. I just wish that she thought that I was as cute as that darned turtle. I may not have a pretty shell, and I can not swim so great, but I think I look as good as a turtle. Maybe not.
Other things that show up in the garden are not so welcome. Snakes, raccoons, moles and possums come to mind. We do not like to have them around here. But one thing I can say for sure, Marilyn does think that I am cuter than a possum. At least I think she does, I hope!
Best Wishes, especially to my old friends, Rick. Click here to see our gardens.
“Oh no, I can’t believe it,” Marilyn shouted from the basement. I was upstairs reading the newspaper.
I looked up from the paper and said, “What’s the matter, is something wrong?” There’s never a dull moment with Marilyn. She came walking up the stairs holding a bag of tulip bulbs.
“Look what I found, you forgot to plant these bulbs last Fall.” She dangled the bag of tulip bulbs in front of me. “It’s too late to plant them now,” she said. She had that ‘ What am I going to do with you’ look in her eyes.
Our basement is quite chilly in the winter, probably no more than 50°, maybe they were chilled enough to bloom in the spring. “I’ll pot them up and we’ll take a chance that they will bloom,” I told her.
I potted the bulbs and gave them a good watering, then set them out on the back porch. “I think there’s a chance they will bloom,” I said to the Little Lady.
“Thanks, they will look pretty in the pots, if they bloom, but I don’t think they will. I can’t believe you forgot to plant them. That bag of bulbs cost $10.99.” Marilyn knows how much everything costs, everything we have bought in the last twelve years together she still has the receipt to. I don’t know how much anything costs, it never crosses my mind.
Now don’t get me wrong, Marilyn never gets mad and she treats me like a King, or at least a Prince. But I know how this is going to turn out. If the tulips don’t bloom she will remind me how I forgot to plant them. If they do bloom she will take all of the credit for finding them in the basement and having me pot them up. I could remind her that she could have planted them last Fall. But I’ll just let it go, but I sure hope that the bulbs bloom. Never a dull moment.
I reached into the bag and pulled out a candy heart that said BE MINE. You know the kind of candy I’m talking about, the little colorful hearts with a saying on them. I pulled out another little heart, this one was pink, it said YOU'RE MY SWEETHEART. But the next one I pulled out was different, I was startled, because it said BE SURE TO WISH ALL OF THE LADIES ON 'GARDEN GUIDES' A HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.
So "HAPPY VALENTINES DAY” to everyone, have a special day. Rick
So "HAPPY VALENTINES DAY” to everyone, have a special day. Rick
Hello to all. I have not been on here much the last couple of months and I am sorry to see that the most popular blogs are all bogus ads for stupid stuff. Hello to all the new people and welcome. I hope that all of my old friends are still here.
Although my part of the country, and most other parts, have had a severe winter so far, I am starting to feel that springtime is in sight. I can’t wait to feel the soil on my hands, and feel the sunshine in my face. I can’t wait to hear the birds sing their happy songs, the songs that let us know that spring has arrived. I can’t wait to plunge my garden spade into the rich soil and prepare it for the early spring crops, spinach, lettuce, radishes, and maybe I’ll take an early chance on something else. Maybe I’ll plant a couple of tomato plants a week or so early and see what happens. Hey, we only live on this earth once, I’ll take a chance.
Is anyone ordering from the catalogs? Are you making your springtime plans? I can’t wait. I just can’t wait.
Best Wishes, Rick
“How about a new watch?” I asked.
No, I have several I don’t even wear now,” she said.
Then I said, “How about a night gown and some house slippers?”
“I have about six or eight night gowns now, some I’ve never worn,” she said.
“I know, a necklace and some earrings,” I said.
Marilyn replied, “Do you know how many necklaces and earrings I have, hundreds.”
I was stumped, I did not know what to get her for Christmas, she is so good to me. I wanted to get her something special. She has been my soul mate for over twelve years now, I wanted to let her know how special she is to me.
Let me tell you something guys, yes, I’m talking to the men now, you need to let your woman know how special she is to you. Am I right ladies? I think I am.
“I don’t know what to get you for a Christmas gift, I want it to be something special,” I said.
“Yes, I hope you get me a little gift or two, that will be fun, but the best part of Christmas will be that we are together, I don’t care what the gift is, just so we can share opening presents together. That’s what‘s important to me, just to be together,” Marilyn said.
I thought about what she said. It’s true, I didn’t care what she got me, why would she care what I got her? We buy whatever we need throughout the year, neither of us really needed anything.
So when I went to get her a gift I bought her the little things she likes. She loves pistachio nut, I bought her a large container. Green tea is a favorite of hers, I bought her a gift pack with a tea mug and some green tea. She loved it.
She loves M&M’s, I bought her a bag. And even though she said she didn’t need any house slippers I bought her some pretty ones, and a cute nightgown. I gave her a few other little gifts. She gave me several gifts, things like socks and a shirt and some underwear. She gave me a beautiful shirt, and a few other things.
We exchanged our gifts late on Christmas eve. It was snowing a bit. We have had snow on the ground for a couple of weeks. It was a beautiful White Christmas. And I realized that Marilyn was right, the best part was that we were together. And that we will always be together.
I hope that all of my friends here had a wonderful Christmas. I haven’t had much time to respond to your posts lately but I hope you are all doing ok. Happy New Year!
“Where’s the salt?” I asked Marilyn.
“In the cupboard where it always is,” she replied.
I shook my head, “Not that salt, the salt for the driveway and porch, I‘m going to melt the snow and ice.”
She answered, “Oh, that salt, it’s in the laundry room, next to the clothes dryer. If you ever helped with the laundry you’d know where it is.”
I hate to admit it, but she had a point there.
We have had a lot of snow so far this month, a lot more than normal. I took the bag of salt outside and threw several pounds of it on the spots that I wanted to de-ice. That project was done.
“Let’s put up the Christmas Tree,” Marilyn said with childlike enthusiasm.
“Great idea,” I agreed. “I’ll go up in the attic and get it.”
She gave me a strange look and said “Don’t you remember? It’s not in the attic anymore, we keep it by the side of the washing machine. You would know that if you ever helped with the laundry.”
We put up the tree and it looked beautiful. Then I made an early New Years resolution: Help with the laundry!
Merry Christmas. Rick
“Oh no,” Marilyn said, “we forgot the tulips!”
“What tulips?” I responded. “What are you talking about?”
“The tulip bulbs, you forgot to plant them.”
Yes, she was right (again), I had forgotten to plant the tulip bulbs that we bought a month or so ago.
I thought that I was all caught up, nothing else to do, a day to relax. I thought that the gardens were finished until next spring. But now I had to contend with the tulip bulbs. “Will you help me plant them, it‘ll be fun?” I ask Marilyn.
“Sure, I’ll be right there,” she said. Marilyn loves to work in the garden.
So I retrieved the bulbs from the shed and started digging a spot for them in the front garden, next to the driveway. We plant tulip bulbs there every year, the soil was easy to prepare. I worked some fertilizer and bone meal into the bed, I dug three long trenches to put the tulip bulbs into. “Marilyn, come on out and help me,” I shouted toward the house.
“Be right there, I’m on the phone,” she said.
Now let me tell you something, if Marilyn was in a coma she would wake up if she heard the phone ring. She has a million friends and they call all day. She loves to talk on the phone.
I planted the bulbs and finished up the bed. It was ready for the tulips to emerge in the spring. It took about an hour and fifteen minutes all together.
“Well, I’m finished,” I told her.
“Finished with what?” she asked, as she was hanging up the phone.
“The tulip bulbs that you asked me to plant,” I reminded her.
“Oh, I wanted to help you, I’ll come out and see what you did.” A soon as she said that, the phone rang. It was her best friend from Lexington. “Hello Susan, we just finished planting the tulip bulbs for next spring,” I heard her say.
I’m sure when the tulips open up next spring she will take credit for the whole thing, and that is alright by me. Because everything I do in the garden is not just for me, but for her to admire. I hate to admit it but I do it all for her. She is worth it.
Best Wishes, Rick. nature-garden.yolasite.com>
TODAY IN I.T.C.O.W.A.S. NEWS - (“It‘s To Cold Outside Without A Shirt“ News) I brought the last of the house plants in for the winter. I went outside without a shirt on, it was cold. I had goose bumps on top of goose bumps. The plants were fine, not one goose bump.
TODAY IN Y.D.C NEWS- (“You Darned Cat“ News) The neighbors stupid cat was hiding under the bushes next to the birdfeeder, just waiting for an unsuspecting bird to land. I hope it taught him a lesson when the walnut I threw hit him in the a$$. Go somewhere else cat, and you can keep the walnut.
TODAY IN W.T.H.I.T. NEWS - (“What The He!! Is That?” News) As I was walking around the side yard I saw something as big around as a dinner plate and about half an inch thick. It looked like some kind of fungus. It was growing right on the ground. I don’t know what it was. Possibly from another planet? I kicked it and walked away. No aliens came out.
TODAY IN T.B.D.S.A.H. NEWS- (“The Birds Don’t Sound As Happy” News.) The birds cheerful songs no longer fill the yard. An occasional chirp-chirp here and a screech-screech there is about all I hear from them. They know a few hard months are coming.
T.A.I.G.F.N.-S.T.F.M. - That’s All I’ve Got For Now - Stay Tuned For More.
Best Wishes, Rick nature-garden.yolasite.com
I brought the houseplants back inside last week, we were expecting a cold spell. Each year I quarantine them in the basement laundry room for several days, just in case they are holding any insects or other critters. A day or two later I went down to spray the pots with some bug killer when I saw a small spot stuck to the side of the clothes dryer. I went closer to investigate when the "spot" jumped right onto my shirt and started climbing up toward my face. It was a little Tree Frog! He must have hitched a ride inside on one of the plants. I enjoyed looking at him for several seconds then put him outside. The little critter jumped from my hand onto the forsythia bush, then disappeared into the leaves.
Marilyn and I recently visited Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. It was beautiful there. The trees were so colorful. Click here to see a video of the lake area and some of the sights we saw.
Best wishes to everyone, Rick
nature-garden.yolasite .com to see the little frogs photo.
I walked around the gardens looking for the last flowers of the year, but I found things much more interesting. Most of the flowers were going, going, gone. But there were things just as interesting! Seeds and seed pods. The plants had changed their priorities, they were now producing seeds. I photographed many of them.
This is our bayberry shrub.
This is the asparagus fern with seeds on the stem. As I photographed the plants I wondered, JUST LIKE THE CHICKEN AND EGG. Which came first - the seed or the plant?
If you would like to see many more photos CLICK HERE.
Best Wishes to all. Rick
“Suzanne is coming, we’ve got to get this place in shape,” Marilyn announced to me as soon as she hung up the phone. “I’ll clean up in here and you make sure the gardens and outside look good.”
“What are you talking about?” I inquired. “Who’s Suzanne?”
“I have not seen her for 25 years, she lives in Israel, she’s going to visit us, she just called, she’s coming to visit, that was her on the phone.”
So I was in charge of getting the gardens in shape, that was not easy. We are more than five inches behind in rainfall this summer, and there is no rain in sight. The gardens do not look good. “When is she coming,” I asked.
“In two weeks, make sure everything looks perfect,” Marilyn suggested. Now I can make things look good, but perfect, I don’t think so!
“O.K.” I said, “I’ll start outside and you can start dusting and cleaning and whatever else needs done in here.”
We have two weeks to make sure that the house is rockin’, that the gardens are perfect, and whatever else the Little Lady wants done.
I worked outside for about four hours, sprucing up all that I could, I was watering everything. I was pulling weeds, trimming bushes, rearranging potted plants, getting a good start on my responsibilities.
“Well I got a good start on things outside,” I was proud to tell Marilyn. “What have you got done in the house?”
“I dusted some and then sat down and made a list, I think the list will help us” she told me.
“A list, what kind of list?” I inquired.
She said that she felt like she had accomplished a major hurdle by making the list. “I made a list of all the things that you need to do before Suzanne gets here”
That was here contribution to the work, making a list of what I had to do.
So I’m working on the list, I should be finished with the list in about another 25 years. But I’m working on it. I hope Suzanne is not used to perfection.
Below is something I found a few years ago. This is not the exact text, but it is close.
America has an official greeter, her name is the Statue of Liberty. She welcomes the rich and the poor, the old and the young. She welcomes people who are yearning to breath free. She doesn’t care where you are from, but she does expect you to realize that you are now an American. A great deal of this country was built by the people who were welcomed by the Statue.
On Sept. 11, 2009 Americans from nearly 30 different countries and cultures became victims of the World Trade Center attack. People who were just doing their jobs, trying to make a better life for their families.
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world.
But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
It’s been about three weeks now since we’ve had any rain, man it has been hot and dry. Most of the veggie gardens around here have dried up, the trees are wilting, the bushes are wilting, the flowers are wilting, even the dogs and cats are wilting. I have been watering two of our newer landscape trees, a Japanese Maple and a Redbud tree. I aim the stream of water from the hose at the base of the trees and the ground absorbs as much moister as I give it. A puddle never appears, the soil just keeps drinking it in.
The roses seem to be holding up well in the hot dry conditions, but I have to water the potted plants quite often. I usually water the pots early in the morning and some days they are wilted by evening. The hydrangeas need to be watered a couple of times a week in this weather. The rain gauge in the garden has collected more dust this summer than rain. Mr. Local Weatherman said there is a good chance of rain this weekend, I hope so.
This has not been the best summer for gardening around here, but as they say, there’s always next year. Next year, when gardening hopes and dreams are alive again. Next year, when I’ll be a little older and hopefully a little wiser. Gardening seems to be the one activity, or hobby, where we spend so much time thinking about next year. Well, I am going outside to blow the dust out of the rain gauge now so it can collect the rainfall that Mr. Weatherman was speaking of. I hope it rains, but Mr. Weatherman has told his share of little white lies already this summer. His nose is growing.
“Hi fishies, are you hungry?” I ask the goldfish in the garden pond as I sprinkle their food onto the waters surface. We have so many critters in the garden. They are just as much a part of the garden as the plants are. Most days as I stroll the gardens I can see frogs, toads, squirrels, chipmunks, many kinds of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and who knows what. I usually have something to say to all of them.
Yes, I talk to the animals, and I bet you do too. “Here’s some sunflower seeds,” I announce to the cardinals and chickadees, and to any other birds within earshot, as I fill the feeders. “You better be eating a lot of mosquitoes,” I say to the little frogs sitting on the waterfall in the goldfish pond.
Sometimes I don’t really say it out loud, I just think it to myself. “You’re a pretty little butterfly,” I said, or maybe I just thought it. “Do you enjoy the flowers in our garden?” I asked the butterfly. But he just flew away, fluttering here and there, until he landed on another flower. They never talk back.
“Get out of here,” I yell to the neighbors cat, who is hiding under the trellis, hoping to catch a bird. I don’t like cats. They are always after something in the garden.
I was watering the roses when I saw something hop out from underneath the bush. “Hello little toad, did I wake you up?” I see toads often when I water the plants.
As the Sun goes down the critters begin to disappear. I guess they go wherever critters go at night. But other critter appear at nighttime. And some of them I do not like.
“Get away from that goldfish pond,” I shout from the sunroom window to the darned raccoon. The raccoons and possums visit often at night. “Get out of here!” I wish the raccoons would find a friendlier yard to visit. But they are still a part of the garden.
Am I crazy for talking to the animals? I hope not. But if I am, so be it. And if one of my critters ever moves to your garden, tell him I said “hello”.
Best Wishes. Rick.
See some of the critters in my garden here nature-garden.yolasite.com>
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