Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Water-Front When it Rains

If we lived somewhere that received double-digit yearly rainfall, this might be of concern.  As it is, though, we just have lake-front property a couple of days a year.  The girl scouts even floated paper boats on our lake last week.  Maybe we should get some remote-control boats and have our own version of Seattle's Seafest? Personally, I think ducklings would look adorable paddling along on the patio lake, but I'm not sure how happy they would be the other 363 days of the year.

Orange Marmalade

Occasionally, when fresh fruit seems to be piling up in my kitchen, I'm hit with an urge to make jam--or in this case, marmalade.  I just love to hear the satisfying "ping" of the jars sealing, and to see the finished product lined up on the counter. But now that I have taken the photo, I really should put them in the cupboard!

I Love Spring!

I've been growing plants from seed for a hummingbird garden in my backyard, but I grew impatient and bought some already-blooming salvia the other day.  I even made sure to get a perennial kind this year!

I thought for sure my hope for apricots had been dashed when we had that cold snap and snow after my tree had already bloomed.  However, I noticed that my tree is full of little fruit now.  It's still a young tree--its two branches are so cute!-- but it is eager to be a productive tree, which makes me happy. 
I miss the ease of growing things in the Pacific Northwest.  I'm slowly learning that the secret to at least pretending to have a green thumb is finding what plants grow well in your particular climate.  In my case, that means plants which don't mind 110 degree summers, winters with occasional snow, and frequent 25+mph sustained winds (not to mention the gale-force gusts).  Surprisingly, that limits my options, particularly because I'm not naturally drawn to succulents and cacti.  All that is just a long-winded explanation as to why I have an almond tree--and one that apparently is going to produce this year! 

Lucy loves to be out in the yard with her humans.  Doesn't she look happy? Her muzzle might be graying, but she still has a spring in her step.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What's in a Name?

Hmmm, family history research can bring up some interesting questions, such as:  If my husband's name is MISSPELLED on our marriage certificate (not to mention the date of the marriage license is wrong on the certificate), does this in any way affect the validity of the marriage???  We never received a certified copy from the state, and today while doing family history online, I decided to see if our certificate was on the online database.  It was, kind of.  I recognized all of the information, except for the spelling of my husband's last name and the date of the marriage license (the marriage date was correct).  I'm not seriously doubting whether or not we are legally married, but I can sure understand how genealogy records can be just plain wrong sometimes.  I should probably call and see if we can correct it, but I'm afraid we might be WAY past the statute of limitations!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Backyard Discoveries

I enjoy spending time in my backyard, especially when the weather is between 65 and 90 degrees.  Today I was pleasantly surprised to find that the desert tortoise is back!  Actually, he probably never left, but we hadn't seen him during his hibernation time.  He showed up last summer, and we enjoyed watching him wander in the backyard.  When the weather turned colder, he made himself scarce.  I was pulling weeds today, and voila, there he was! 


John really prefers brightly colored flowers, but he very graciously defers to my garden plans.  I have pink, blue, and white hyacinths planted, but the white ones are particularly beautiful now, I think.


I've finally figured out which of my hens is attempting a sex change!  I've read that sometimes a hen will change to a rooster, if there isn't a rooster around, but I thought it was a fairly rare occurance.  We've never had roosters, and my small backyard flock is 4 or 5 years old now.  For about a year now, I've been hearing the occasional VERY pathetic crow, if you could even call it that.  Today I happened to look down at Rosie's leg when I let her out to free-range, and my mystery was solved.  I quickly checked the other hens.  No one else has grown a spur, and even Rosie just has one.  Why Rosie has decided she needs a change, I have no idea.  Luckily she isn't mean (like some roosters), and fortunately, the neighbors behind us have at least one rooster, so the other neighbors shouldn't be bothered by Rosie's pathetic attempts at crowing.  I'm not sure if she is still laying eggs or not.  Perhaps not.  Production has decreased due to the age of the hens, but now that the weather is warming, "the girls" seem to be keeping up with our demand. 

My backyard discovery session came to a halt after I discovered the black widow.  I'm such a spider wimp.  I probably could keep weeding if I put on garden gloves, but why risk it?  :-)