Friday, July 31, 2009

It wasn't my fault, I swear!

I can grow tomatoes, green beans, peppers, peaches, and flowers, but indoor plants are a completely different story. I have had a peace lily and a bleeding heart for a couple of years, but they never seem to do well. I noticed the soil in their pots had quite a bit of mineral deposits from the tap water, so I decided to replace some of the old soil with fresh potting soil.

Two weeks ago they were alive, but today they are dead. I am a murderer. It was more like manslaughter because it was an accident though. They died from kindness apparently. Okay, it was really drowning, but I like to think of it as kindness.

But I want greenery around me indoors. I like to know the air in my house is clean from all the nasty chemicals in the world. But I can't have that because I can't keep the freaking indoor plants alive!

Maybe I will give it one more try or maybe not. I would hate to keep sacrificing the poor unsuspecting souls. I don't even kill bugs, why would I knowingly do that.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

They are ready for their close ups!

I was insanely lucky to spend most of Monday when my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and twin nephews, Nathan and Nico. They are the sweetest, most adorable boys in the world!

We enjoyed some dinner at In 'n Out, which they do not have in Seattle and we're craving. We had so much fun and I tried to take a lot of pictures.

While we were waiting for our food, Nathan showed me how many different emotions he can portray with a look.

First was the scary look.

The the sad look.

The crazy happy look.

The surprised look.

It's so hot in here, dramatic look.

I'm surprised it's cold in here look.

This has all worn me out look.

I cannot believe they are going to be four tomorrow. They grow up so fast!

And one last picture of Nathan and Nico with my Sunny Bunny. Like any children that do not grow up around animals, they were intrigued but scared of the dog. It took them a little while, but they came around to her. They even tried to feed her some cookies, but she just wanted a belly rub.

Apparently we need to work on our communication

Normally Rommel and I both take the dogs to the groomers. Simba and Sunny can be a little difficult for one person to handle. Sunny likes to climb all over the driver and Simba tends to bolt out the car door as soon as you open it.

It's been so hot and Simba really needed a cut. I could not manage to get out of work to help Rommel take the dogs, so I only made an appointment for Simba. Rommel walked Simba over in the morning and we went to pick him up during my lunch. Sunny had been upset because she thought Simba went on a walk without her, so I brought her along with us. I sat in the car with Sunny as Rommel paid the groomer and then I saw Simba.

"What the f**k did he do to him?" That was the only thing that came out of my mouth when I saw him. And this is why...

I was seriously ready to jump out of the car and scream at the poor groomer for making my beautiful lion look like Yoda when Rommel says, "Oh yeah, I told him to shave his head too." My fury moved to Rommel. We always have the groomer do a lion cut, which leaves the hair around the head and the tail long while cutting the rest extremely short. We ALWAYS get the lion cut!!! The only reason I did not freak out on him was because he thought even the long hair on his head would be too hot because of the recent weather. He was wrong, but he had Simba's best interest at heart.

So now I have my own doggie Yoga at home. My very own Doga.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Late Night Visitors

We always knew there were skunks in the neighborhood. Last summer alone Simba and Sunny were sprayed three times. So when we started feeding the stray cats, I was not surprised to see a skunk eating from the bowl late one night. Then we started catching glimpses more and more often and smelling that distinctive skunk scent in the middle of the night.

Then walking home from the grocery store the other night, Rommel and I spotted Flower, as my husband named it, eating on the porch. The first surprise was that it was still light out. The second surprise was that when Flower scurried away, it was to a burrow that lead underneath our house.

Rommel saw Flower out the next night with another skunk and blocked off the burrow, but I noticed a new burrow tonight when I was watering the lawn. They both showed up later in the evening and when I walked out the door, they disappeared under the house.

Rommel is ready to cover up the new burrow, but I cannot help and worry about the possibility of babies under the house. I cannot in good conscious close off access when breeding season for skunks does not end until August.

I also found out some other interesting facts about skunks when checking out their breeding season online. They are extremely good pest control and eat rats and mice. They eat 70% of the insects that are harmful to humans, such as black widows. They also live peacefully with cats, which makes me feel better about possible fights.

They have never made a motion to spray us even though we have been just feet away and we can always close the doggie door to keep the dogs from getting to close.

So I guess the question now is what should we name Flower's friend?

Sunday Projects

As of August 5th, Glendale is extending the restrictions when it comes to outside water usage. Before we were limited to watering yards and plants before 10 am and after 6 pm, no washing cars or driveways, etc. Now watering is limited to before 9 am and after 6 pm on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and only for 10 minutes per area.

Believe me, I understand the reason for the for the restrictions and completely support it, but I also have a vegetable garden, plenty of flowers, and a few newly planted trees, all of which require quite a bit of water.

So this weekend I decided to alter one of the projects I was planning for the backyard. Originally I had planned on building a set of steps where the area you normally would place your foot would be open. It would create several four foot by one foot planters at varying levels. It would look amazing once there were plants filling each level, but it would also use quite a bit of water because the moisture would drain right into the ground. I did not want to give up the look of having different levels of plants or the idea of the steps, so I decided to build a set of steps that you could actually walk up where I could place a large number pots, which would require less water. I could still grow any kind of flowers or vegetables I wanted and it would actually be easier than growing them in the ground because I would be more in control of the soil.

When we went to the store to buy the step forms, I was blown away buy the $25 price tag of a four step form. So after borrowing a pen, I traced the form onto a $4 piece of particle board. I felt a little guilty, but come on, $25? I also decided not to put backs on the steps, which would not only save me money, but also allow larger pots to sit on each step and provide drainage. I walked out spending less than $15, which means I spent less than the cost of one step form to buy the materials for the whole set of steps.

The particle board was not the best idea since the steps will be outside, but if I prime them well enough, it should not be too much of a problem since we do not get much rain. Eventually I will paint it some bright color. I have been feeling orange a lot lately.

Once that is done, I have plenty of pots ready to decorate with once the seeds I planted sprout. I picked a few different types of herbs, marigolds, and California poppies.