Thursday, May 10, 2012

Getting it Done

For weeks now we've had several nuisances around these parts, one of which I've written about before, as in the sprinkler system. For those readers who've been experiencing unusually large amounts of rain, having a faulty sprinkler system does not seem so bad. Trust me on this, it is. Last month's utility bill reflected as much--$100 for water. Ouch! Today we are finally having some folks come out and get us back in shape.

Additionally, I've had an air leak in the pool filter lines which not only made for constant bubbling at the jets, but the pool vacuum crawled along at a turtle's pace. A turtle's pace you ask? Well, why not? Last evening Bruce called out, saying I had a visitor in the yard and here he is!
A pretty good sized one that apparently crawled away from one of the two lakes in either direction from our home. I took others, but I thought I'd show you this one because, not only do you see how big the turtle is, but you also get to see the declining supertinias. Painful is what I have to say about their state. I am trying to come to some conclusion on whether or not I should transplant them before they all die on me. What to do, what to do? While I was out surveying my garden I discovered yet another creature! More? Yes.
I should have made that a plural in the previous paragraph because there were gobs of these Oleander Caterpillars. According to the link, they will defoliate the plant in no time, thus, if we didn't want some bare stalks, something had to be done pronto. Fortunately, Mr. Bruce arrived, picking them off with some tweezers and placing them in a drink bottle in the freezer. The freezer? That's what they said to do! Matthew is experiencing some of his own garden invasion from unknown sources. His exact words--"gardening is stressful." I couldn't agree more. See above regarding baby petunias!

But so worthwhile when things are going well, which for the most part they do. I am in love with the color of this new shade of vincas.
While still on the topic of gardening, last week I made a visit to Appenbury's which I believe I mentioned. There were some gigantic, and I mean gigantic, sunflowers in the ground, waving their faces in the breeze.
Stupendous, right? The sky is a never ending source of interest, going from this gorgeous shade of blue, to this:
Enthralled might be a good word for when I see the sunbeams through the clouds. Although the sky looks menacing in this photograph, the rainfall produced was minimal. One of these days we will have some rain, and on the flip side, one of these days sunshine will once again visit London. Faith is what that kind of thinking is called...

While picking up Bill from the car place, I asked him if he'd like to head out to Lukas Nursery since we were half-way there? He agreed readily because he's a plant guy himself, going crazy planting Asiatic jasmine all around his new palm. Anyway, we roamed around, marveling at all of the beautiful specimens. As we turned a corner we heard a noise, wondering what the heck it was. Chickens my friends. Four were in a large coop with two of them being so crazy looking I couldn't get over it.
The head was covered with feathers somewhat like an afro. I was darn lucky to finally get this shot
through the bars.
Perhaps a reader knows the type? Talk about top heavy! As I recall, the black bodied chicken of this type also had a white topper. Love this kind of random sighting...

So, where was I before I got off topic? Oh yes, the air leak. The pool guy came yesterday morning and it was not anything that had occurred to me. The filter needed a thorough cleaning, as did the salt generator. Both required taking apart, a task I'm ill suited for. $125 and we are on our way.

While he was cleaning, I was signing, a task I'm also ill suited for. Frequently when folks ask how things went and I give them a number of prints sold, I'm not sure that it's so easy to visualize. Well, let's enlighten right now.
This stack of new prints totals 95, two shy of my Melbourne sales. It would be half again as tall if not for the fact that 45 of them are currently without mats, although, if things go right, they will have them later today. They are all signed, two stickers each and a thank you on the back. On my way to bridge, in just a bit, I'll drop them back off for the mats. You're probably thinking to yourself, why can't she put the mats in? Answer: different ratios. So there. A good many of these are slated for filling up the twirly thing in my office which currently stands empty. Then again, maybe it will be a good weekend which at this point is anyone's guess. Typically it's hot as the dickens during Mayfaire; the forecast is only for the high 80's with a 20% chance of rain. Not bad at all. I am assigned booth #33 which if memory serves me right, and that's always taking a chance, it is close to where I was last year.

Yesterday brought some good news. My sister Nancy, who lives in Memphis, had been looking online for jobs earlier this year. Lots of looking. One day she decided it might be a good idea to check with her local Marshalls, walk in and ask if they were hiring. And they were. Now it is several months later and she has been chosen to be a "Manager in Training" starting today! We couldn't be more proud or happy for her. While talking I mentioned to her that although working in retail is hard, that's probably where she always should have been working because if anyone knows how to shop it is Nancy. You may recall that she also loves to organize and it was this skill that caught management's eye. I guess this means she won't be coming here this year for my annual clean up. Woohoo!

Chickens, it seems, are all the rage now which is probably why they had them at Lukas. Our city council just passed an ordinance allowing 25 homeowners to have chickens in their back yard. Just this morning, after reading the linked article, Bruce came into the bedroom while I was still lolly-gagging in bed, saying, perhaps we might want to have chickens. Perhaps we might. This installment of Camera Crazy describes my friends the Whiteds adventures in chicken farming. Rachel has a chicken initiative going in Winter Park hoping their city council will get with the program.  A local television clip with Rachel found it's way onto CNN!

The hour is late, as in, if I want to have time to get ready for bridge, so that's it for today.
Have a good one!

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Long Beach, CA