Thursday, May 31, 2007

Doodlebug's Last Roadtrip and Big Adventure, Chelsea Too -- Part 1

What a trip! We got home about a half hour ago. I've been driving on and off since about 10:30 this morning, and I have that weird vibration in my body from being on the road so long -- kind of like sea-legs. Of course, I've had about 6,742 mg of caffeine (thank you, Starbucks!), so the weird vibration may be coming from that.

I think D-Bug had a good time! My granddaughters were very gentle with him (and with Chelsea). They ended up staying with me at the hotel, and we had three sleepovers, including tattoos! I love having them around, and I miss them already! Doobie got to be the man -- he put a jumping silky terrier in his place (although the poor guy is named Daisy -- I think he has to jump pretty much nonstop in order to prove his manhood), he ate people food like crazy, he got petted almost nonstop, and he got to see Scott -- his second favorite person in the whole world. On the down-side, he completely lost his hearing a few days ago. I need to do some Internet research to see what's up with that, and then possibly take him to see his vet. He has Cushing's Disease, which is caused by either a tumor on the adrenal glands, or a tumor on the pituitary gland. I'm thinking possibly his is a pituitary tumor and maybe it's large enough to be pressing on nerves that control hearing? I may be grasping at straws here. At any rate, being 16+, the vet and I have decided not to treat whatever diseases he has (he probably has cancer, too), and will just let him live out his life until he isn't happy any more. Since we aren't going to treat him, there's no point in doing any diagnostic work, so we may never know what is really wrong with him beyond the vet's best guesses.

Anyway, that's it for tonight. I'm going to try to read a little and unwind. Hopefully the buzzing will stop soon ...

Friday, May 25, 2007

All our bags are packed, we're ready to go ...

And now that I've left you with that song in your head ...

The books are finally at the printer and out of my hands -- woohoo -- and they'll be in the distribution center on time. How cool is that! It was touch and go there for a while, but it's all done now and I can go on vacation with a head devoid of knitting and crochet abbreviations. What a relief!

The pups and I are heading out in a few hours for Doodlebug's Last Roadtrip and Big Adventure, Chelsea Too. I haven't really told them yet that they get to go with me, but they know something's up. I keep asking Chelsea if she wants to see her Scott-Boy, and she get all waggy-tailed and happy. Usually I avoid mentioning the name of anyone she loves, because she gets sad and just looks out the window and sighs. I haven't mentioned the D-word (for Daddy) in a very long time -- I think she thinks he lives in the phone, since that's the only place she ever hears his voice. Come to think of it, maybe he does! I haven't actually seen him in 7 years, so maybe he is just a voice in the phone!

I still have a few last-minute things to do (like pack and clean up the kitchen, and clean the birdcage, and possibly clean the aquarium, although what's the point because I can't seem to get rid of the green water no matter what I do, and oh yeah, color my hair and shower -- we may not make it by 6:00, and I'm still here updating my blog. Hi Drew -- I'm practicing avoidance!). But you know what, it's my vacation and I'm driving this time, so I don't have to worry about getting to the airport in the nick of time. If I want to leave at 7:00, I can! If I leave any later, though, I'll have massive Charlotte traffic to contend with, both on 485 and 77. I'd better get in gear and get going!

Scott, by the time you read this, I'll be on my way (hopefully -- you know how I am about being on time ...)

Bye y'all! CUL8R! Peace, out!

PS -- I had a garden emergency last night! I went out to check the plants when I got home, and they were drooping! The weather here has been warm, and the beans had used all the water in the reservoir. It hasn't been a week since the last time I watered them, so I guess I'll need to call the apartment people to water them while I'm gone. It's a chore -- I hate to ask them. Drag the hose outside, hook it up inside, fill, fill, fill -- it takes about a half hour, and I haven't prearranged it with them. I know it will be fine. This apartment complex rocks for tenant service -- that's their main selling point (besides gorgeous apartments in a great location). They feed the fish and the bird while I'm gone, and they'll get my mail, water the plants, take my laundry to the dry cleaner if I want them to, they even pick up the trash outside my door once a week. It's so worth the rent to live here!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Looking for Jack ...

As in Jack and the Beanstalk. I expect to see a giant around here one of these days.
Ok, the beans aren't quite that tall, but they're much taller than the package states. Both of these varieties are supposed to be around 20" tall, and they've more than topped that. Some of them are behaving more like pole beans than bush beans, and they're vining around each other.
My tomato plants have doubled in size, and I need to get the cage set up and installed before I leave on vacation, because I have a feeling if I don't, I won't be able to when I get back -- they'll just be too overgrown to contain without damaging them by that point. I have another container coming tomorrow, and I plan to work outside part of the evening getting the cage set up and the container filled and planted. I'm going to plant a trombocino squash or two (or three) and let them vine up around the baker's rack. They're my favorite variety of summer squash, and I'm happy to have found the seeds here.
It's warmed up considerably here -- temps are supposed to be in the mid to high 80s all week. I imagine the lettuce only has a few weeks left, if that. I've turned the container around so that the taller plants (hello Miss Daisy) are in the back providing a little shade in the afternoon, but I still think they'll bolt while I'm on vacation. I'll be surprised if they haven't.
I thought I wouldn't like "gardening" in these containers, but they've proven to be a godsend while I've been working long hours these past few weeks. I really haven't had time to even give a second thought to my garden -- I just go out in the morning to pick a few leaves of lettuce to put on my sandwich for lunch. I've only had to water every week and a half to two weeks, though that will probably change when the temps get up into the 90s and as the plants get larger and demand more water. I still think I'll be pretty safe going on vacation for a week and leaving them. I'll make sure they're full before I go, and I'll water them as soon as I get home.
We're struggling to get one last book the printer tonight, and then I can breathe a huge sigh of relief. I still need to review printer proofs -- probably on Wednesday -- but then I can go away and not even have to think about them. They're in good hands with our printer, and I know he'll take good care of them and make sure they're to our distribution center on time. Thank you Robert!
I haven't told the dogs yet that we're going on a road trip. I wouldn't be able to live with their excitement every time I open the door! I'll surprise them Friday morning when I wake them up and make them go outside at 5:00 in the morning. The even bigger surprise will come when I put them in the car. Chelsea loves road trips. Doodlebug? Not so much. But he loves the end result -- visiting all his favorite people. I do, too!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Look what's been happening with my garden! The first photo was taken on 5/10. Looks great, right?

The bottom photo was taken just a few minutes ago on 5/13 (Happy Mother's Day, by the way). Look at the beans! They're amazing. I've picked lettuce three times so far -- last Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. I think I could probably start picking enough for a sandwich every day. I love being able to go out and just pick a few leaves here and there. Because I don't use pesticides, I don't have to even worry about washing the leaves!
I think I've been at work more than I've been home lately. I know I said I didn't think I was going to like gardening this way, but man, if you don't have time, nothing beats these containers. I've gone two weeks without watering. I'll fill them today--the water level tubes indicate they need it, but the soil is still moist.
I'll be glad when all of these books get to the printer and I can take a break. I'm so looking forward to my vacation the end of this month! I'm taking the dogs on a road trip to visit family in PA.
Well, if I'm going to take a vacation, I need to get back to work! I think I'll take my computer out on the patio so that I can watch the plants grow while I work ...

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Garden goings-on

And lots of growing has been going on! Just look:

So much is happening you can't even see it all in this photo! Closest is the Crazy Daisy. She likes this container environment very much -- this is one strong plant! Behind her container is the first container of beans I planted. Some of the plants are putting out bud stalks already -- I'll probably have flowers within a week, and then beans a few weeks after that. In the third container are tomato plants I just received. I'm not at all pleased with their condition, and won't be ordering tomato plants online again. They arrived within two days of shipping, and they weren't dried out at all all, but they were tall and spindly with yellowing leaves -- which obviously means they weren't grown in the best of conditions. Hopefully they'll recuperate and get strong -- I planted them deep so that they can develop good root systems. In the fourth container are the blueberry plants, which are still doing well in spite of the fact that I haven't added peat to the soil yet. And last but not least is the second container of beans, which has started sprouting. The lavender, alas, is still a no-show. I've almost given up on it. I did plant some beans in the same area as the lavender seeds. If they ever decide to grow, they can grow around the beans until it's time for them to come out, and then they can have that space.

We had almost record-setting heat the beginning of this week, but yesterday and today are cloudy, drizzly and very chilly, which makes the lettuce happy.

This photo is from Tuesday, and it's grown even more since then. I really need to start thinning it out, so I'll probably start picking it today and have a baby lettuce salad with dinner. I have a nice light raspberry vinaigrette, fresh mushrooms and some feta cheese just waiting ...

I bought some trombocino summer squash seeds last week ( I had planned to plant them in the strip of soil between the hedge row and my patio, but after talking with my son last week (Hi Scott!) we came up with a better idea. See my baker's rack in the first photo? I'm going to remove the bottom two shelves (Scott, they do unscrew) and put in another self-watering container. This type of summer squash vines profusely, so it can grow up and around the bars and shelves on the baker's rack. Having summer squash in my little garden makes me happy!

And speaking of happy, my friend Margot had this wonderful idea on her blog ( She's adding photos of things that make her happy, complete with a cute little happy sign in each of them. I'm going to stamp a fun happy sign and do the same! I think we all should, and create this viral Happy Things campaign that just sweeps the Internet and spreads happiness. Let's do it! And be sure to stop in and say hello to Margot -- she rocks!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My guilty, guilty pleasure -- a day late

Well, ok, not so guilty. And if you're coming here today to read about gardening, you're out of luck and you need to leave and come back tomorrow when there WILL be garden news. Today is all about dancing ... Dancing With the Stars.

Does anyone else think John Ratzenberger is totally hot? I don't think I liked him on Cheers, but I don't remember since I've slept quite a few times since the last time I saw it, and I was never a big fan of the show anyway. Imagine my surprise the first night when this sophisticated yet down to earth, handsome and, well, hot, man walks out onto the stage. The goatee? Yummy. In an odd way he reminds me of Anthony Hopkins (but NOT in the Hannibal Lecter sort of way), who is also a very attractive man.

So I don't have TV here. Well, I have TV, in fact I have two of them, but I get lousy reception and I can't watch either one. I refuse to pay for cable to watch two or three shows a week, and neither antenna works, so I get to watch everything a day late on the internet via my computer. Thank you, Internet, for, and thank you for playing all of your shows the day after. And thank you, work, for giving me a laptop to use that I can take home at night so that I don't have to buy my own computer and can instead spend my money on garden stuff. And rubber stamps.


I just finished watching last night's epi of DWTS. And Oh. My. God. It was sensational! The dancers were really good (except for Billy Ray, but he knows he isn't good and he's just having as much fun as he can, and that makes him the best to watch). Ian finally opened up his personal space and looked at Cheryl like he could just devour her. Joey did some bendy moves during the jive that were phenomenal. I didn't like Apolo's waltz, but his other dance deserved the 9s it received. Billy Ray sat out most of his waltz, instead showcasing his partner's dancing talent (and I just cannot remember her name right now), but came back and was more involved in the Mambo. Layla is my favorite to win, though -- but so is Joey. It's going to get tough!

And who will go? Sadly, because IMO he's a hottie, I think John will be the one to leave. Billy Ray is a bad dancer, but he has a huge fan base, and that's what's keeping him. The loser is being decided right now as I type this, but I won't get to see it until tomorrow, so please don't tell me!