Sunday, April 10, 2016

Enjoying the Back Patio ~ Sunday 4/10/16

After a good night's sleep, I woke up at 8 a.m.  How did New Kitty manage not to wake me up at 6:30, asking for her breakfast?  I had foreseen that and decided to sleep upstairs, for once, hahaha, so she was Thwarted Kitty today.

I fed the cats and opened the sliding door. Another cool morning? Yes, please! I had a cup of coffee left in the pot from yesterday so I nuked that and decided to sit on the back patio with my cup of coffee and my laptop.  As soon as I thought of it, I saw a flurry of wings flying off from my bird feeder! Yay!  Birdies having breakfast.

It was a little chilly so I threw on an old flannel shirt of Greg's and took a quick tour of my garden. Not much is happening, my bean plants haven't progressed at all and seem to be at a stand still. Maybe more water is needed.

Some bug has bore through my hibiscus flowers :(

The green onion flower has bloomed

The zucchini continues to grow

The SuperSweet 100 tomato seeds that I planted recently seem to be surviving and now have 4 leaves. Maybe I will get tomatoes this year after all? Keeping my fingers crossed.

The surviving plant from last fall is still giving me a few. Here are two that I need to harvest.

Hey, I've now got 3 Ichiban eggplants growing woohoo?!  I'll have to cook them this summer when Greg is gone since he really doesn't like them.

The broccoli will never give me more than a tiny floret and now it's blooming.  Darn it.

The pole beans still seem to be at a standstill

More lemon blooms!
This nectarine tree is taking its own sweet time to bloom!
Then I settled down on the patio and waited for birds to come out. Nothing. I did spot a couple of white egrets flying over my house.  But the lack of birds might have been due to the appearance of this:

His coloring is very similar to our male cat's.  This is the "twin" that Greg spotted in our backyard yesterday. He came slinking in the backyard and didn't realize that I was sitting right there on the patio but then he did and I was able to take this picture before he ran off, scared by the neighbor's dog's barking.
Then Greg got up and joined me on the patio. Within a minute he had spotted a woodpecker on top of the wooden power pole, which soon was joined by a second one!  Wow, we had never seen two of them at the same time. How exciting!  They were too quick for me to take a good picture and flew off in a nearby tree very fast.  Greg thinks that the wife came out to tell the husband "it's a power POLE you idiot, not a tree!", lol.

One woodpecker...

And another one landing on the post. Two!  Two woodpeckers, ha ha ha.
As I was taking pictures of the woodpecker(s), I heard a loud buzzing noise around my head that came and went very fast, and that my brain registered as "as very loud dragonfly or some other bug" right at the same time as Greg exclaimed "a hummingbird!".  Damn it!  I completely missed it!  I need to buy some red salvia for the back patio and also make hummingbird syrup for my hummingbird feeder. My new sign (bought yesterday at the Spring in Bloom festival) is pointless if there isn't food for the birdies!

So I refilled the cardinal bird feeder and the bird bath too and I will need to make more hummingbird syrup later on today this week.

The Blues at the Winery event starts in 5 minutes and I'm thinking that maybe I won't go.  I have dishes to be done (and I just remembered that it's Sunday so my paper is still in the driveway, gotta go get it, brb!).  So as I was saying, I don't think I'm going.  I had my fill of people yesterday, it's nice out here and I still have that pumpkin pie to make for Greg, coupons to print and organize, 3 of my ex-library book loans are expiring in 3 days and I haven't read them yet.  I think I'll stay home.

I spent the rest of the morning posting about our adventures yesterday. Lunch time came and saw me still on the back porch (it's really so lovely and I did remember to put on some sunscreen today) so I made my lunch and brought it back outside with me: turkey sandwich, the rest of the potato chips, some string cheese and an orange. I'm brewing a new pot of Green Peach tea and my plan for the afternoon is to read a library book on my Kindle before I have to return it.  At some point I'm going to have to do the dishes because my husband is giving me the side eye and also I promised him that pumpkin pie.

Greg said he would install the edging around my vegetable garden after lunch. The kids are up but relaxing on their computers.

True to his word, Greg installed the edging (thanks, honey!). I was planning on watching him do manly work while I read my book, but I started feeling guilty about 10 seconds in so I watered the plants, refilled the self-watering bins and pulled some weeds.  I was going to pull more but it's hot in the sun and I figured I could just do it early one morning when the backyard is still in the shade.

Now all I need to do is pull the weeds from the mulched areas... and add some more mulch.
Then I sat down to read my book, "The Killing Hour" by Lisa Gardner. Even though I didn't think I had already read it, it quickly became apparent that actually I had, at least twice, and even though I didn't recall the particulars, I just didn't feel like re-reading it today. So I headed indoors and made a pumpkin pie for Greg and our son from the rest of the pumpkin that I cut up a few days ago. I had enough pumpkin puree left to fill a 10-oz container that I put in the fridge. I'll make pumpkin bread or rolls with it tomorrow or the next day.

It is such a nice day that if we had a hammock, I'd take a nap right now!  I've always dreamed of having a hammock in the backyard but our trees weren't close enough together and then we had to take a lot of them down.  The hammocks on stands just don't appeal to me as much.

Our son borrowed my bike, yet again, to go to the park down the street.  I'm glad that the bike is getting the use!  Tomorrow I need to ride it to the library to pick up that baking cookbook that I forgot to pick up on Friday.

Greg was a busy bee today: after he finished installing the edging around the vegetable garden, he used the leaf blower in the front of the house and raked leaves, and then he vacuumed and washed his truck. It wouldn't be a lovely Sunday if some man, somewhere, wasn't using loud equipment, would it? *wink*

Trying to catch up on Feedly, and I saw an alert on Slickdeals that the B&M Home Depot stores have their seeds on sale for 50% off.  I was tempted to drive there today to get okra seeds and see what else I might be able to stock up on that Dollar Tree doesn't carry but then I decided to wait until I do my regular grocery shopping, probably Tuesday. I need to make a wish list.

I skimmed through the Sunday paper and clipped a few coupons. My heart isn't into it.  I don't use them all that much anymore save for things like cereal and pasta and the thought of having to deal with the huge pile that has yet to be filed makes me sigh.

I did find a coupon for a free travel-size bottle of Rave hairspray. However, I don't use hairspray.
I organized the dirty dishes on the counter so it'll be easier to load up the dishwasher after dinner, although it'll be my daughter's night to do it, and I baked the 2 chicken breasts that I had defrosted because I'll need to shred them to make my Enchilada Pasta Skillet for dinner.  It's 4:30 p.m. so I'm ahead of the game, yay!

With the oven on, I finally had to close the sliding door because the AC was about to kick on in the kitchen, but it's a nice cool 72 without the AC in the other part of the house (i.e. the living room).Greg went back inside to take a shower and eat a piece of pumpkin pie, but I'm determined to stay outdoors as much as I can, lol.

I started writing a letter to my great aunt. It's slow going because I'm typing it in French in Powerpoint otherwise she won't be able to read my handwriting. But I have to insert all the accents, which is a pain but I can increase the font so she can see better, which is great.  I'm also adding photographs and then I'll print the whole thing in color and mail it to her. It'll be like a mini scrapbook.  I'll finish it tomorrow, though, as I'm only 1/4 of the way through.

Late afternoon, my patience was rewarded:

First the female cardinal came to have dinner...
... and then the male, right after her. They never eat together, talk about unromantic!

Dinner was the Enchilada Pasta Skillet. It was very good and I have lots of leftover for tomorrow since I used a whole box of pasta in the recipe.

After dinner my daughter did the dishes to earn her share of the car insurance, my son brushed our cats, and Greg and I enjoyed several episodes of "Arrested Development" on Amazon Prime Instant.

Chili's sent me another bonus points offer to get a freebie appetizer or dessert if I eat there.

Hey, today was a No Drive Day!  Woohoo. #8 of the year.  We have surpassed my goal :)


  1. You have me cracking up about the husband wife woodpeckers! lol. We have woodpeckers here and they drive my husband crazy! I don't know why the pecking bothers him so much because I like the sound. Growing up we always had woodpeckers pecking on our trees so maybe i dont mind it because the sound is familiar and kind of comforting to me. :)

    1. My daughter doesn't like them either because one of them (probably the same dumb old husband) pecks at the old satellite dish on top of our roof. She thinks they are so dumb. It just makes me laugh. He does it a couple of times and then stops... until the following year. I think it's in that particular family of woodpeckers' genes or something.

      I love them because when i was a little girl my grandmother had a needlepoint picture of a couple of them that she had framed in her living room. So they remind me of her.

    2. Yay you was worrying about the squirrels scaring all the birds away and you have had loads in your garden this weekend.

      Congrats on the no drive day.

      I haven't read The killing hour, is it good? I am trying to decide what to read next. I am a bit torn between another Lisa Gardner and the new Linwood Barclay book.

      The pumpkin pie looked tasty, I have never tried it but it looks so good.

      Have a good day xx

    3. Yes, I did like it. It's one of those books where there are a lot of surprises. I always think that I'm going to like Linwood Barclay's books but then I don't, really. I'm surprise to only find one of them in my records because I'm pretty sure I started several of his. Do you have a favorite? Maybe I should try it again.

      Tara, it's the stray cats that I think are killing the birds. The squirrels are digging out my plants... and eating the bird seeds. But they're both nuisance, lol!

      You've never had pumpkin pie? It's easy to make, I'll post a recipe if you want. I make pumpkin puree with the pumpkins that I buy around Halloween.

    4. Well that's some freebies that you should be reporting on your blog, there! Two free vehicles, you got everybody beaten, lol. Enjoy all of your grandkids and your time "off" :)


  2. My mother used to sing a song called the Woodpecker Song. The only lyrics I remembered are "peck, peck, pecking at the same old tree, he's as happy as a bumble bee". Did a search, just now, and found it, including a recording of Kate Smith singing it!

    I've enjoyed seeing your garden update. That's quite a little pineapple plantation you've got going there!

    1. I was wondering why the email that I received from Blogger with your comment looked empty... but then I found it in the comments to be published... and then it looked blank again?! I think you might have leaned on your space or return key before typing it, LOL! I'm glad you found the song that reminds you of your mother!

      Bless, I've been wondering what I'm going to do with all the pineapples if they all ripen at the same time, lol. But now that I know I can can outside on my camping stove, I guess I'll make pineapple preserves and I can also dry some in the dehydrator... and possibly make candied pineapple. I just hope the racoons and other critters don't eat them before I get a chance to harvest them!

    2. Oh, no! I am so sorry about that empty space! Didn't mean to do that! :(

    3. It would be a great joke to play on bloggers on April Fool's Day, hahaha. No worries, I thought that Blogger was acting up at first!

  3. I also saw the "empty" post from Bless and wondered "what's up?" Not just because her comment was missing, but there was no comment field for me to respond. I eventually figured it out. Duh.

    I am jealous of the lovely time you enjoyed outside today. It was still snowing in parts of Ontario this weekend. Grrrr. But we are leaving tomorrow at noon for Vancouver and summer weather that they have been enjoying for a month already. I have packed the same clothes I took to Egypt with me. We are flying out of Toronto around suppertime. It is a five hour straight flight, but we will arrive around 8:30 their time. Don't expect a blog post tomorrow night. We will be driving back around the 25th, so may not be back here 'til the beginning of May. Hope to write a few times while in Vancouver.

    1. Thanks for the warning, I shall miss you! I have been keeping your last 3 posts about your Egyptian trip so I can give them proper attention when it's not quite so busy (Domestic Monday, you know!) so it will have to suffice until you can tear yourself away from your family, hahaha!

      Have a safe flight to Vancouver and a lovely visit. It'll be nice to escape the snow and you won't even have to cook, will you? Are you seeing any grandchildren while you're there? I'm sure you already told me and I forgot, but what are you going to be driving

      back (rental car? car that you're getting from your family?), Greg wanted me to ask :) We're busybodies.

  4. Tell Greg that we are driving back my son's van because they got themselves a brand new hybrid. Our Jeep bit the dust finally. Poor Jeep. We loved that car, but I don't know if it can be fixed. (or even if we want to again) We already replaced the motor in it barely two years ago. Then when we hit Ontario, we are stopping at my Dad's house to pick up his van. He has just bought himself a new car. Lucky, lucky us. We have gone from no vehicle to a two car family. Yay!

    I will see four of my oldest one (23) and my youngest (4,)a teenager (14) and my step grandson (21 I think). I will be babysitting the little one while her parents are teaching during the day. And the others I will see on one or both weekends. The twenty somethings will be in the thick of exams. But all the granddaughters love to do crafts, so it should be good times.


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