They’re everywhere, which is a good thing. Some have the yellow-and-black striped body I’m familiar with, but others are shiny black. Did a quick search and found a page describing all the different markings. Never realized there were so many.
The ones I’ve seen look solid black, which means they could be one of the Cuckoo varieties. But to be honest, they were all moving at the time of observation and I was reluctant to get too close because, well, BEE! They could also be part of Color Group 1. I’m just glad to see them buzzing around all the apple blossoms, the hanging basket petunias, the tiny holly flowers.
It is warm. Cool breeze, but the sun is making its presence felt. Last week, I wore a heavy sweatshirt when I took Gaby for her walk, and had to keep wiping my eyes because the chill breeze made them tear. Today, I wore a light t-shirt under a light jacket, and was glad I did because halfway through I took off said jacket and tied it around my waist. Even Gaby ran out of gas, which is a first. We made it as far as the lake. Saw a few boats, a yacht and a couple of smaller cabin cruisers. A speed boat. There was a haze over the water. Not much wave.
Out on the deck now, under the brollie, with iced lemon water close at hand. The hardwoods are finally starting to leaf out. The honey locust. After a short nap and some water, Gaby is alternating dashing about the yard and lying beside my chair and resting up in preparation for more dashing. A dog of her weight and approximate age–almost 6 1/2 we think–she is supposed to be around 42 in human years, but I don’t see it.
It’s the first summer without King. He hated buzzing–flies, bees–and would either try to snap the offending insect out of the air or tuck tail and seek shelter in the deck Dogloo. Once all was clear, he would lie by the gate and watch the street. The guardian.
It’s sunny! And warm…ish. Lo 60s, which feels like 80F if you move around. Bought petunia baskets for the deck and begonias for the front yard planter–the petunias are deep magenta/magenta-white stripe, while the begonias are lovely shades of melon, pink, and vermilion. I also bought a backpack sprayer to apply the organic weed stuff, and a cartridge for the kitchen faucet, which is dripping on and off. The lawn is on tap for tomorrow, because you need to spray the stuff before things sprout. Normally, I would have done this in March/April, but it’s been cold here. Forsythia are finally blooming, and I am used to seeing that in, hey, March/April.
Took Gaby to an Open House at the kennel where she goes for daycare. She dashed about in the sun, then went up to selected individuals and rolled over for tummy rubs. The heat got to her after that–she is a cold weather dog–and she repaired to the shade and watched other dogs rough and tumble about. Crazy retrievers.
Puppy play date
Best lunch ever–leftover grilled salmon, arugula salad w/ lemon juice and olive oil. Glass of chard. I will now either plant begonias or try to start the lawn mower. Maybe both.
The basil seeds I planted last weekend are sprouting! The tomato seeds will take a bit longer, but the grow light is keeping them warm and I am hoping to see shoots in another week.
The lovely gardenia tree that my vet’s office sent has several buds that are going to unfurl Any Time Now. The poor thing needs a new pot–the one it’s in now is too small. I don’t have the right size on hand; looks like a 4-5 incher is needed if I want to continue to use the pretty decorative basket that the smaller pot came in. If not, I can put it in one of the containers that I already have. Drainage is apparently important, though, so I would have to remember to line the bottom with gravel so any excess water has a place to drain.
A nasty cold is racing ’round at the day job. Three folks have been hit that I know of. Apparently it hits hards, but doesn’t last too, too long. DO NOT WANT!
Repair guy repaired my clothes dryer today. Apparently this model has two belts instead of one, one for the drum and another for the exhaust fan. Was the exhaust fan belt that broke. Unfortunately, because I still tried to use the dryer when the vent wasn’t venting properly, things became hot enough that the glue that holds the front gasket in place melted. If the gasket had come loose completely, I would be looking at a new dryer purchase, but since there is still some glue in place, I may be okay. I will know that it has failed when the dryer starts eating clothes. Something to look forward too.
Another thing to look forward to–it may snow on Sunday! So fcking sick of the cold. I want warmth and sun and sitting out on the deck and grilling and flowers and greenery. Bees and hummingbirds and walking with Gaby along the forest footpath.
Speaking of Gaby, she’s doing well at daycare. Plays with All The Pupsters. Her eating is still spotty, but I am hoping she settles over the weekend. I’ve signed her up for basic obedience–that starts next month. I will see how much she enjoys Busy, and go from there.
…because MONDAY, dammit.
“Wintry mix” to look forward to in the morning. Last March at this time, we had record high temps, but this March at this time, we have “wintry mix.” And tomorrow, I’m getting a needle stuck in my arm because blood draw, which means I have to drive through the “wintry mix.” Which sounds like it should be made of spangly star snowflakes and little ice pellets that bounce right off the road and land safely in a ditch but is in reality made of freezing rain and *splat*, a rain/snow mix that hits your windshield like translucent birdshit.
And now I need to make up my bed because the mattress pad, which was in the dryer at the time when I discovered that cleaning the vent hadn’t helped and the dryer was not really drying anymore, should be dry now.
Monday started on Sunday this week. NOT FAIR.
We’re under a weather advisory for tomorrow. Rain/sleet turning to wet snow. 2-5 inches, with “localized heavier amounts possible” in some areas. I live in one of those areas. Given that I will likely have to get up at oh-hell-thirty Wednesday morning to shovel, I am hoping for a smaller amount.
While we have received only about half the usual snowfall for the season, we have received about 110% of the average February total. Whacked winter continues apace.
As a protest against the coming onslaught, I ordered veggie seeds. Paul Robeson tomato seeds. Italian large-leaf basil. Mesclun mix. Along with the Robeson, I may plant the Black Cherry, which produced a lot of nice, largish cherry tomatoes last year. Nothing complicated planned, just stuff for salads and marinaras.
Thinking about goals for the spring/summer. Junk elimination–get rid of all the clothes I don’t wear, all the junk accrued over the last 25 years. Work on the kitchen and bathroom. Also thinking about the bedrooms–painting the dark woodwork white, painting the walls, getting new closet doors and curtain rods. Possibly new ceiling lights.
Busy times ahead.
No spam in the bucket ever since I changed settings so one needs to register in order to post. I don’t know if that makes posting impossible or not–if it does, email me. I’m pretty sure I am registered to post on other blogs because either my photo or the same WP pattern thingie pops up as my avatar. It’s not bad, and your info is good over multiple blogs.
The storm on Thursday turned out a fizzle here in far NE Illinois, but one is expected on Tuesday that is supposed to have more oomph. I’ve had it. I want Spring. Warmth, bees, flowers, greenery.
I am officially addicted to HGTV and This Old House. Garnering ideas for use in sprucing up the kitchen and bathroom over the next year or so. I’ll do as much as I can myself, and hire expert help when needed. I’ve only been staring at the same green (!) cupboards and yellow one-piece flooring (bath) for 25.5 years now. That’s a quarter-century. Think about it.
Time to get a move on.
Pups are fine. King has his monthly check-up next week. Fingers crossed that all continues well.
I last cleaned the dining room table sometime in early fall, judging from the dates of the magazines and catalogs I just tossed into the recycle. But this morning, as I ate breakfast and read the online papers, I realized that the piles had reached the point where I felt surrounded, and as usually happens when I feel buried in junk, I snapped and spent 45 minutes I didn’t have sorting and trashing. NATURE and NEW YORKER, I kept. Unread issues of HGTV and This Old House, for the refurb/rehab ideas. A couple of seed catalogs, because I haven’t yet given up the idea of a veggie garden this year. Everything else was hasta la vista, baby.
(Note to magazine publishers–packing the issue in a tough plastic bag in order to protect the oversize subscription card is utter bs, and simply means I need to use the good scissors on you before I consign you to the recycle bin)
But I digress.
I excavated assorted coins. Two dollar bills. One of my nice pens. The spare house keys. I now have a surfeit of table surface, and I feel better. We’ll see how long it lasts.
I keep telling myself that I should trash the stuff before it even gets in the house–I enter via the back door, and keep the recycle bin Right There just for that purpose. But I slip sometimes, and the slips add up to piles, stacks, and in the end, Sunday morning mayhem.
We wound up with about 9 inches of heart attack snow in my area. Hope my Northeast friends are safe and warm and still electrically powered.
Mid-30s now. Snow is melting, a slow drip from the roof. It was a sticking snow, so branches are still covered. The drive to the store offered pretty scenery, trees looking as though Brioche, God of Pastry went nuts with the confectionery sugar.
Mid 40s and rain tomorrow, which will wash away all the pretty and likely leave mud behind. Wish this winter would make up its mind.
Took the pups to the vet–Gaby’s bordetella nose squirt and King’s Adequan. Gaby made us all late by dashing about in the snow and refusing to come when called. Luckily it was a tech appointment, so I didn’t knock their schedule offline too much. But this was a first–up to this point, Gaby has been very eager to get leashed and get into the car. I think the snow has her addled and all full of herself.
Groceries acquired. Red peppers roasted. Grapefruit sectioned and blueberries washed. First load of laundry in the dryer.
Almost to the halfway point of February. It goes so quickly.
A bit scattered today. First full week at the day job this year. Felt like a month.
So windy outside. The recycle bins have blown over twice–I picked up everything as quickly as I could, but not before King ran off with an empty foil box. He was quite pleased with himself.
No plans for the weekend beyond the usual errands. Hockey will be back. It will be good to see the ‘Hawks again.
I have been inundated with gardening/seed catalogs over the last few weeks. In past years, I would be figuring out which varieties of tomato to plant, and which herbs and other veggies to try. This year, I am not so excited, and am seriously considering scrapping the raised bed. Over the next year or so, I want to get the house in shape to sell, and part of that plan involves reseeding the backyard and improving the lawn. The raised bed is a 4×8 rectangle in the middle of an open spot of yard, ringed by patchy ground courtesy of the pups, who race around it. It’s not particularly attractive.
Add to that the fact that I have been disappointed in the flavor of the tomatoes I have grown. Make no mistake–they taste waaay better than supermarket. But they’re nothing like the tomatoes I used to buy from farmers markets as a teenager, and I’ve reached the point where I’m wondering whether they’re worth the trouble. When it comes to marinara, good canned tomatoes taste just as good, if not better. As for salads, well, I don’t need 3-4 large plants to supply those.
I haven’t made up my mind yet. I could always go with one cherry tomato plant, maybe some lettuces. I’m not sure.
My time off, that is. Almost 2 weeks. It’s been nice. Time to get stuff done *and* sleep. The two haven’t always gone together these past few years.
Today’s first attempt at chicken curry since undergrad came out well. The sauce needed a bit more of a boost–maybe a shot of coconut milk, or some herbs. But it was still tasty and yet another reminder that I should make more use of my crockpot.
Pups are good. King’s tummy med started helping after the first dose, which was nice. Very nice, actually.
Rain on the way, possibly more than an inch. Temp could top 60F tomorrow. What is this thing called winter?