Saturday Morning Live

It was 8 am when I started this post. Just the start of Saturday, the point when all things are possible.  I am the master of my own destiny and there’s so much to choose from! I have time to vacuum up the dog hair, scrub the filthy kitchen, pull weeds or just go hog wild and leave the house all together and just roam around. Freedom!

I can do anything big or small. I can just spin this chair around 180 degrees and take a crack at the pile of folded laundry on the daybed and that the things that came out of my suitcase when I emptied it from my last trip. I could go downstairs and make myself a liverwurst and onion sandwich for breakfast. I can do anything.

But we’ve been here before and you know how this goes. I’m just going to sit here and read blogs and cruise around eBay and then it will be time for my customary Saturday nap.

Here is something. It’s a then and now look at my new flowerbed.


The dream and the beginning. May 26, 2014


Three months later: the lush fulfillment. August 23, 2014

It’s been wildly successful which surprises me no end. When I started this project in late spring, the bed was filled with the crappiest, sandiest dirt imaginable. But I planned and planted and then used PlantTone, an organic fertilizer apparently made from feathers but which has attracted earthworms for me before. I mulched everything with a thick layer of shredded pine bark and kept it watered. And it worked!

Also I had a really great new hose nozzle from Kmart that allowed me to stand inside the backyard fence and give this bed as much water as it needed without exposing my nightgowned early-morning self to the paperboy and productive neighbors going off to work.

There’s more good news in this current photo. You’ll note a limp and dying portulaca draped over the brick edging in the lower right hand corner. It is dying because it got tromped during a visit from the local gang of adolescent deer. Which tells me that every flowering plant that I selected for this bed is of no interest to hungry deer. If they were, they’d be chewed down to the roots.

So I’ve got the right elements there – I just need to dial it back a bit and make some layout adjustments for next year. That little resin pigeon obviously cannot hold its own against such abundant vegetation so I might replace it with one of my chicken planters in the spring.

And there we are. It’s 9:30 now. Still plenty of time to vacuum. As if.


Not Exact But Close Enough

Ladies and Gentlemen, what you see before you is the product of four hours work. Four non-consecutive hours. Four hours spread out over six days.


But whatever. I got it done.

I feel very accomplished because I got this little flower bed done. Even though at the end of each gardening session I found it necessary to take a shower, two Aleve and a nap.

The bird is the former resident of my favorite birdbath – the one that got smashed by a fallen tree during one of the many hurricanes. I always thought it was made out of concrete but it turns out to be heavy but hollow plastic. The bird only has one good side now and even then you have to forcibly turn your eyes away from the crack along the top of its one good wing. But it’s the right size and shape for that spot and the casual passerby would never know the extent of its damage. Plus I like the idea of giving it a second life.

It’s a bit worrisome to me that my two new Bela Lugosi day lilies are turning yellow at the tips, but it is heartening that the original one, the victim of Sami’s helpful weeding, is making a comeback. I found a worm and threw it in there before I mulched to take advantage of the beneficial microbes in the FlowerTone fertilizer I sprinkled around the plants. But when I saw those yellow tips, I went into full bore Suburban Chemical Gardener mode and drenched them all worm included  with a good soaking shower of Miracle Grow.

hrcAlso, I would like to know how Hillary Clinton can march in a local Memorial Day Parade? She looks older than me, she is older than me and she has some kind of brain something that took her 6 months to get over, according to her husband. And she marched in pointy high heels, it looks like. How is this possible? this article does say that she took part in the New Castle Memorial Day parade without much fanfare and without her typical entourage” so maybe she just slipped away from her minders and walked down off the front porch to walk along.

I’m a little worried about her. You should be too. It was 86 degrees around these parts today and HRC went for an impromptu stroll wearing a long sleeved jacket and a scarf.



My Name Is Sue! How Do You Do? Now You’re Gonna Die!

The One Where Suzette Pays $25 For A Single Day Lily  … and then wakes up to find that her husband has helpfully pulled a weed except no actual weeds got pulled in fact nothing else at all got pulled only the  single $25 day lily. bella-lugosiHe’s done this before and every time I have escalated the intensity of the shit fit I throw to be sure he understands that he must not do it ever again. Last summer, when he did this to a 5 foot tall sun flowerish perennial covered with flower buds about to open, it was a mighty scene let me tell you. I though it made a lasting impression on him, but me and Bela Lugosi are here to tell you that apparently, it did not. I went out to that area early this morning to pull some actual weeds in preparation for the lavender I was planning to put in today. I saw a hole where the centerpiece of my new bed used to be. This bed is 98% plain dirt and this plant was sticking up, bright green growth about 4″ tall, near the driveway border. I should have known better, but I sent him on a mission that put him in near proximity of the bed. I asked him to measure it so that I could plot out my plantings on graph paper before I went out to buy what I needed. Like sending an alcoholic into a bar. He could not resist. He did however manage to resist the few scant weeds in that bed and also a common wild day lily coming up 12″ away from the Bela Lugosi. It’s like he’s got a detector for which green growing thing would I miss the most if it was gone. And you know, when I saw the hole, I had a feeling he was responsible so I walked over to check my garbage can to see if it was in there. But it wasn’t and also the neighbor’s trash can was tipped over so I thought okay maybe it was a raccoon. So I came in the house and I couldn’t sit down so I went back out with the measuring tape to see for myself and there it was on the driveway, next to almost under a stack of mulch he brought home yesterday. The leaves were pulled off of the tuber so it must have given him a fight, but still he persisted until he got it out. Well, what’s done is done. Can’t change the past. Here’s my recovery plan:

  • replant the tuber and hope for the best
  • remain calm, maybe take a relaxing bath
  • wait until he gets out of bed
  • grab an axe and bash his brains out

 UPDATE:  He got up. We had a discussion.He is not dead. I insisted that he take an oath that this will never happen again, but frankly I know that must live out the rest of my days dreading that it will. Over and over again. Anyway, here’s what I have planned for that little bed. p.s. I just ordered two new Bela Lugosi’s. Take that, Sami.

plant legend in size order from tallest to shortest

Happy Birthday To My Husband

Today is Sami’s birthday. He doesn’t like to receive any presents for any occasion but I really thought I had it nailed this time.


I gave him a 13″ non-stick ceramic Italian fry pan made with real! diamonds! Who wouldn’t like that? As you can see from the label, it’s Mirror Extra Shiny so you don’t even have to cook in it to enjoy it.

Naturally, he complained about it. Nevertheless,  I’m pretty sure that we’ll be seeing some pancakes cooked over diamonds around here pretty soon.


There will be no blogging today due to my extreme grief caused by a clueless  husband on the loose with a hedge clipper in his hand who thought he was doing the world a favor by stepping over the little border fence at the edge of my flower bed trampling the iris leaves to hack down a giant cluster of perennial sunflowers that i have been cultivating for 12 years and  it was just about the only thing that was thriving in this stupid summer of copious rain alternating with blazing heat and not just hacking it down but digging it out by the roots and claiming that he thought it was an enormous weed with yellow buds about to open on it even though he is completely unbothered by any actual weeds around here and this isn’t even the first time his superpower to misidentify a highly valued plant as a weed and annihilate it has rendered me inconsolable.


The Saga of the Volunteer Tomato – Preface

The Saga of the Volunteer Tomato – Fini

Some Tomatoes

Emboldened by my recent success with the IT department, I thought I’d try going outside and bossing the weeds around for a while. A fairly short while, it turns out. Even though I was working in the shade and it was only 8 am, the humidity got me and I gave up. I did accomplish about 2/3 of what I set out to do so at least there is something to show for it.

I can’t help admiring my old hosiery that now hold up cherry tomato plants.


I left that big knot there for effect. Now that you’ve seen it, I’ll trim it off.

Of all gardening activities, nothing gives me more pleasure than adding another knee-high to the tomato support system that I have going on out there in that pot. I think I got this idea from way back when I used to subscribe to Organic Gardening. Or maybe I just read it some random place. I know for sure I never actually saw anyone do this – and come to think of it, I still haven’t seen anyone except me do it.

But it makes sense. The stocking stretch thin but still provide efficient support and yet do not cut int the stems of the plants. Plus they’re free and you do your recycle bit (which I do  not care about at all*) by repurposing them. That’s why I think I found this in Organic Gardening. Thinking about it a little more, they must have advised use of panythose to hold up heavy vegetable otherwise why would a stem be cut into by normal garden string? Anyway, I really enjoy talking about garden use of hosiery.

*I’ll start worrying about natural resources when they order Las Vegas to turn off the lights and the fountains and not before.

Here’s tutorial in case I can spread this genius idea around:


I just spent 12 minutes on this. 12 minutes that I could have spent tidying up around here. Ha ha just joking. It’s my day off. I’m not using it to tidy up.

I’ll leave you to ponder that while I go off to be a vegan. Watermelon smoothie for breakfast; corn and avocado salad for lunch.

Me And The Buh Buhs

2:45 pm – Now updated with more kvetching!

I have a lot of work today but I can’t concentrate until I get this off my chest.

Truth: my subtext of internal dialog goes like this: buh buh buh buh buh

And the reason for it is this. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the theme songs from Farmer’s Insurance and Hot In Cleveland are conspiring to keep my head full of buh buh buh. Is there no escape?


In other kvetching, it looks like the dopey creek project will have  a suitably matching dopey fence around it soon. In the world of fencing, can there be a fence more inefficient at keeping things out than the classic split rail style?

photo (4)

Supplies have been dumped. Countdown to running hordes of trouble-making 12 year olds: 3 … 2.. 1 …

There’s so much tangential goings-on around the creek project. Remind me to tell you about how they put in new sidewalks because of the new catch basin and had to conform to current ADA standards by making  all driveway aprons meet flush with the road pavement and they did that by chopping out half of my concrete driveway and re-angling that part, changing the slope significantly. In the 16 feet of driveway that they replaced, the drop is 21 inches. Ironic that their efforts to meet ADA standards made it a real physical challenge to walk up the drive. We protested and they offered to solve the issue (that they created) by building a wooden ramp from my front steps down through the middle of the lawn and through the heart of my magnificent rhododendrons.

These people are insane.
The Great Wall of Rhododendrons featuring Mr. Sami, circa 2009


UPDATE: Wait. One more thing.

This professional photo, in a nutshell,  is everything that is wrong with the modern bridal industrial complex:


oooh i am a naked bride and someone hung my wedding dress so high in a filthy tree that even if i stand on a golf cart i won’t be able to reach it