Tuesday, March 30, 2010

76 and Dry

You think I'm referencing my age and a lack of alcoholic beverages don't you?

If so, shame on you! The former was the temperature at 7:15 this evening, and the latter the state of the weather. 

"So what?" you may ask.

It was a good afternoon to mow down the weeds, that's what!  What grass I have is still tan and crunchy, but the henbit, ground ivy, Spring Beauties, chickweed and the like have been growing like, dare I say, "weeds," giving both my front and back yards a very unkempt look. 

My hand-me-down lawnmower which, unfortunately, spent both summer and winter, rain, sleet, snow and gloom of night sitting outside next to the shed with a cover over the motor, started on the first pull and ran like a champ!  I probably need to take it to the service place to have the blades sharpened but I have no complaints about the way it runs.  I ran out of steam before it ran out of gasoline; there is a small patch under a yard swing which still needs to be mowed, but I had not the energy to move the swing.

While mowing, I found two well developed Sweet Autumn Clematis (SAC)  plants under my Japanese Maple tree. I dug these with a trowel and moved them next to two of the columns on my front porch. I already have a three or four year old SAC on one of the three columns. I hope these two do as well.  SAC, which bloom in late July/early August, have very small, very fragrant white blooms; to me, they smell like the best grade of honey.

There is much weed eating around the edges remaining, but that's a task for another day. I did get one lily bed cleaned out, as well; it needs a good watering and an application of mulch to keep the weeds down.

More, later.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Japanese Weeping Cherry & Other Stuff

Several years ago, I purchased a "dwarf" Japanese Weeping Cherry for my back yard. Said "dwarf," which should have stayed at about 6'-8' high, is now approximately 25' high, due, no doubt, to lack of proper pruning. I've been rather disappointed in that since it was planted, it has never had very many blooms --- until this year!  I was thrilled to look out my kitchen window earlier this week to see the limbs literally covered in blossoms, from the tippy-top to the ends of the drooping branches, which almost touch the ground.

In trying to determine what could have caused it to blossom so beautifully, I came to the conclusion that it was the removal of several tall trees (the Raccoon Caper) from the west side of the yard. These must have been blocking the proper amount of sunlight required by this particular specimen. I can't think of anything else that has happened, environmentally speaking, that would have caused the change.

Below is a closer look at one of the blossom clusters. I love this pink!

This is my first full post since coming back online, and I've found that Blogger has changed somewhat. New options keep popping up, and I have to stop to view my choices.  I'll get used to the changes, I'm sure, and will eventually think they are just peachy-keen but, right now, they are simply distractions.

I've also discovered that I need to find the software for and reinstall my antique Photoshop Elements. I forgot how much I relied on it to resize my photos, something I haven't figured out how to do in Picasa. I tend to not try to learn more than I must to accomplish a specific task, a short-coming which keeps me in a perpetual learning mode.

Other stuff: While my computer was away, I finally tackled the enormous amount of paper I had allowed to build up (read:take over) in my office space. I've cleaned out nine book shelves, directly recycled about 500 pounds of non-sensitive, out-of-date materials and, for the past several days, have spent hours sorting through boxes of other papers which contain sensitive information and must be shredded. I've previously admitted to being a paper pack-rat, but I didn't realize until the last few weeks the sheer amount of stuff I've allowed to accumulate.  Nearly all of what I've been going through could and should have been eliminated years ago. Now, almost every piece of it has to be examined and either shredded or sorted into "office paper" or "mixed paper" before it can be taken to the recycling center.

I've actually found some things in the overwhelming stash that I want to keep, at least for a while, some of which I'll share with you as I need post fodder.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm baaack! Yay!

After many trials and tribulations, my computer is not only cleaned but polished, as of about 2 hours ago.  I would have posted here a little sooner but, as fate would have it, our neighborhood experienced a power blackout!  Just call me "jinxed."

It will take me days (weeks, even) to try to make even a cursory exploration of the posts on my favorite blogs that have occurred during my lengthy absence, besides which I have to rebuild my favorite feeds, which will take some time.

So, dear blog friends, if you are reading this, please know that I haven't forgotten you, and will be around to visit you as soon as possible/practical.

Happy Spring!