Wednesday, October 5, 2016


This past summer kicked my ass. The sun was brutal. The heat was relentless. It wore me down, freaked me out, and left me exhausted from doing literally.....nothing.

It was the summer of epic veterinary bills. Thankfully it was nothing tragic, just puppy stuff and senior dog maintenance. Expensive, these dogs, but worth every penny.

It was the summer the yard turned to sand. What little grass that remained became infested with grubworms. Even the artemesia bush, the one I cut the tip of my finger off while pruning, died and I dug the remains of the poor thing out of the ground today.

It was the summer we could not find a house in our corner of Colorado.

But the temps barely reached 75 degrees. The light was thinner, paler, and the leaves have just begun to turn color.

There is hope.

We hope for rain. We hope for snow. By next summer we hope to have the permanent getaway house in Colorado.

Tonight, as the sun went down, there were the tiniest wisps of clouds on the western horizon.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Monday, September 5, 2016


"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth. Then I ask myself the same question." -- Harun Yahya

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

day of the mantis

Last month, it was all about the dragonflies. A family of five set up house in the butterfly bush. Some days, two of their cousins visited the yard. Two, sometimes three, of the original family are still hanging around.

But this month, it's mantis time. I've watched my columbine mantis grow from a wee green thing into an adult. I find more mantids in the butterfly bush every day.
Today, for example, there are two in the bush as well as my little guy in the columbines.

Mantids intrigue me. They scare me. They are filled with mystery and wonder.

The word mantis comes from the Greek mantikos, for soothsayer or prophet.
They have binocular vision but only one ear!
And, they say the mantis comes when we need peace, quiet, and calm in our lives.

This is one of my favorite mantis quotes: "Meet the eye of a Mantis and feel the presence of God."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

folk science....plain and simple

It's still blazing hot out there. My dragonflies cling to the yucca tree, watching me as I lay wet vintage linens to dry in the blinding sun. Lucky contemplates life.

The best linen cleaning recipe I've found is the simplest one. Lemon juice and salt directly on the stain. Lay in sun till dry. Soak linens in a big pot of boiling HOT water with 1/4 cup of kosher salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda. (Be very careful as the combination of salt and baking soda foams everywhere. I found out the hard way.)
Rinse, rinse, rinse. Dry them in the sun and let the neighbors wonder what the heck you're doing.

And it works! The neighbors are confused and the linens are snow white.

Just look how grungy the blue and sort-of white potholders were before I soaked them in the pot and how incredibly CLEAN they were after soaking a few hours! And the tablecloth stain? It was older than I am. Now, it's gone!

I know, yes, I know now, why pioneer women were always boiling things.

Friday, July 15, 2016

102 in the shade

Crazy things happen when it's 102 degrees in the shade. Lucky thought she would dig a small pool in the back yard. Durango and Pinto treed another roadrunner. A family of dragonflies took up residence in the butterfly bush. At last count there were five of them hanging out in the branches! And I decided to clean and restore my grandmother's collection of antique linens, some of which she embroidered herself.

I read up on the old school ways of restoring linens and started two experiments.
Pot #1: One gallon of hot water and 1/4 cup of kosher (don't ask me why the recipe said kosher) salt. Soak linens 48 hours, rinse, and lay in the sun to dry.
Pot #2: Boiling water with lemon slices. Soak linens 24 hours. Rinse well and wash with mild detergent. Lay said linens in sun to dry.

I'll let you know which method worked best.

Durango settled for his wren when the roadrunner flew off. And the pool Lucky so thoughtfully tried to dig for the family? I filled it in and we don't talk about it anymore.