My favorite kind of snow: the quickly melting kind.

Woke up to a winter wonderland. I do love how snow sparkles and shines in sunlight, but mostly when I see snow, I think about my no-dexterity-having self falling on my keister.

But not this day. For today, we achieved the perfect amount; enough to be pretty, and too little to last more than a few hours.

But right now, tis pretty.





MC & dud dirt

Two quick things (because I’m lazy.)

1) Another Midnight Crapper sighting! S/He was lounging – or perched – on my deck rail last night. I’d heard some soft goings on out back, and then the ever jealous ZoeB looked out of the window and hissed. Not very ladylike, but then her role model sucks.

MC looked up at me, decided that from my bedroom window I was too far away to be a threat, and then sat and watched the birds try to turn Red’s gutters into a nest.

As per usual, I looked away to soothe Her Mighty Highness, and *pfft* s/he was gone. At least MC looks healthy, and fed…. Maybe not the hardscrabble alley cat I’d assumed?

2) Dirt. Or potting soil, whatever. I hate having to lug it from the Depot. So last trip to the store I decided to treat myself & buy that Miracle Gro expanding soil. 3X the soil in one small package! Yayz!

Except not. It doesn’t really expand, it simply absorbs more water. Disappointment.

It’s my fault for thinking that potting soil would miraculously SPROIIIING like one of those kiddie “add water and the dinosaur grows ten times bigger!” thingies.

Still. Bummer. And a waste of about 6 bucks, as that soil costs twice as much as regular Miracle Gro Moisture Control. Back to the drawing board. Or back to begging a favor of a dudefriend next spring when I want to flesh out the planters….

Sunday Shot: roses rescue

I love tea roses. Their tiny little flowers just make me smile.

But I tend to kill them like I’m a rose assassin. Then I swear to never buy another one, because I’ll only kill it. Until I see a 2-for-5 deal for a pretty pot of roseness. It’s a sickness.

Case in point, the plants I have now. (Tea roses at the supermarket are usually several plants jammed together in a small pot, not just one.) The leaves are covered in brown blotches, at least the ones still on the plants are. This happens every so often. But the roses bounce back…only to do the same thing later.

After reading that this strange behavior could be due to overwatering (or over-raining, as was the case with Hurricane Sandy), I decided to do a little garden triage. I removed the hosta & the flowering bush (the bush suddenly died last week, or perhaps I just noticed) from their yellow pots & used that soil to fill the stacked tire ‘planter’. The pots I bought all have an attached saucer, and so the soil was dripping wet. AHA! So was the soil the roses were nestled in; same kinda pot, only smaller.

Hopefully putting the soil & roses in a ‘raised bed’ will help with drainage, something that wasn’t happening in those pots. Great during 102 degree weather, but not so good now.

Here’s the (hopefully) happy transplant:

See the water down the side of the tire? It's all from the sopping wet soil.

Yeah, it’s not full to the rim. But I’ll cross that bridge when I talk a friend into helping my lug soil & mulch from the Depot.

More to come….

Sunday Shot: bug butts & ‘maters

I really should retitle this weekly thang to Sunday Shots, as I have a hard time picking just one photo. But hey, I’ll roll with it.

First, a spider wrapping up lunch:


Next, a bee gettin”her pollen on (and flashing the paparazzi):

And lastly, I’m still getting tomatoes! Mmm, tomatoes.

Tomorrow is October first, so you know what that means. Yes, it’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

I have my decorations. I rub my hands together in excited expectation. I need snack size candy. Ahh, Halloween.

Behold, the Midnight Crapper!

Well. It’s been a busy few weeks, and I have pulled a whole lot of lazy hours trying to recover. Which means staying in, which means getting to see Zoe at her prowliest.

First, there was the wee mousie in the ManCave. Then the one in my bedroom. Those were popped outside using the tried-and-true Arkansas Towel Scoop, perfected when I was down at Buffalo River NHP. (There’s one more mousie that seems to be under the fridge. But he has thus far eluded capture.)

Then…THE MF-ING MIDNIGHT CRAPPER Y’ALL! I was downstairs re-watching Godzilla, as you do, when I heard what I thought was Captain Howdy in a Regan suit. I rushed upstairs, because I would be the first person to die in a horror movie. But it wasn’t Pazuzu, it was my cat, poofed to 11. And emitting sounds straight out of the Amityville Horror playbook.

There was the Midnight Crapper, right on the deck! With only a thin veil of screen door between the Crapper and the cat about to crap herself. Being the kind, loving cat human, I raced back downstairs to grab my camera. Y’know, after I told Zoe she was a brave girl.

Crapper jumped down from the deck and made for the gate. But after I Crapper-proofed the fence, she (he? Dunno) was stuck. I went outside and hopped down, letting her get back to the deck. She immediately gave me the patented kitty death ray stare.


Impressive. Yes.

After she realized I wasn’t gunning for her, she hopped up on the “stair”.


Yep. I was pruning today. And yep, I have yet to rake it up.

Before I knew it, she was on the deck railing. She then gave me a “see, you’re making me jump over to the icky yard, and that’s a drop!” look. Then, like some sort of deranged bungee jumper, lept.

Sadly, these craptastic pics from my celly don’t do her justice. She’s larger than Zoe, but longer not fatter. (Sorry, Z.) She’s also longer of hair, that not longhaired, not shorthaired middle ground.

Can’t blame her for hopping the fence to get to my yard. It’s probably the safest spot around.

Meanwhile, Zoe, with the mice and the Crapper, has had a rough few days. I think it’s treat time for a kitten.

The Midnight Crapper

Well, I’ve got to sneak in to keep from tooin’,
And I’m bound to keep on poopin’.
And I’ve got one more fence to clear now,
But I’m not gonna let ’em catch me, no,
Not gonna let ’em catch the Midnight Crapper.

I love my fence backyard.  So does ZoeB.  But we’re not the only ones; for the past few weeks, every time I head out in the early morning I’ve seen…presents.    No, not alongside the garden.  Not under the deck.  Not even by the gate.  Right in the middle of the yard, as if to say Tada!

No, I haven’t stepped in any of ’em yet.  And no, I won’t post any pictures — you’re welcome, Internet — but let’s just say I’ve gotten more than a little perturbed by the whole mess.  ZoeB doesn’t seem interested in these prezzies, thank goodness.  It could be because she’s so excited to be outside, it could be because she’s almost 10 and her sense of smell is going.  But I have noticed she’s starting to sit by various places near the fence, staring at it as if to dare it to crap.

I can only assume that that’s where The Midnight Crapper sneaks in, under cover of darkness.  It’s either that, or s/he pops up on top of the fence and then hops down.  No seriously, I’ve seen cats around here do that, bouncing from a lower fence to a higher one…and it’s pretty awesome, except when there’s poop in my yard.

I’ve smooshed mulch under the cracks between fence & ground, hoping that’ll keep the yard free of bombs.  And every time I clear out a gift, I use a little shovel that is now reserved just for that purpose and wing it over the fence onto Red’s backyard. Y’know, for the junkies.

It’s the gift that keeps on giving.