patinagle16: (aurora)
Mishka had a small seizure this morning.  Not too bad.  It's been about two weeks since the last one so not unexpected.

Yesterday a Willamson's Sapsucker visited our bird bath.  I'd never seen one before.  Very, very cool!  At first I thought this was a flicker, but the belly was yellow and the black bib went all the way down the chest, so not.  We get flickers a lot, but with orange bellies, not the yellow. 

It's a La Niña year, which is bad news for us.  It means a dry winter, which means a bad fire season next year.  We've had one snowfall in early November, and that's it.  Kind of hard to get into the holiday spirit because of that, but yesterday I went out and made my Yule wreath.  This involves lopping some lower limbs off of trees that can use it, cutting up the greens, and putting them into the wreath frame.  Add a bow and hang it up.

Pretty!

Nov. 17th, 2010 04:44 pm
patinagle16: (Default)
Can't help it.  I love pretty stamps.

The past few years I haven't much cared for the holiday stamps, but this year...check these out!


Nice, huh?  And the evergreen ones are...well, evergreen!  They're forever stamps!

You can buy them online at USPS.com.
patinagle16: (Default)
Am I sounding like a broken record?  If so sorry - I'm just trying to track Mishka's health and this is the place I chose to do it.  Small seizure yesterday (11/11), set off by my clicking a spoon on a dish of yogurt I was fixing for him.  Poor guy.

Yogurt seems to help with his digestion a lot, so I'm giving it to him every day.  He loves it, fortunately.  Unlike pumpkin - which he won't eat!  It might be the only people food he won't eat.  I've tried every which way to get him interested in it, but no go.

I need to bake up some pumpkin and freeze it.  Love the stuff!  I still have the big pumpkin from my garden and a couple that my friend Pat brought me, plus there's one coming in next week.

Off to get a slice of pumpkin bread and more tea.  There's the power of suggestion for you.
patinagle16: (Default)
Well, it's been a crazy month.  Normally I enjoy autumn, but this October has been a series of crises.  I won't clutter this blog with detail.  The latest - and the smallest, really - is that my desktop got zapped yesterday and is in the shop.  This just as I was starting to catch up on two weeks of backlog.  

The first hard freeze hit us a few nights ago.  All the aspens on the mountainsides dropped their leaves overnight.  I just went outside to clean up a bit and found a tomato plant that has survived all the frosts.  Don't know how much longer it'll last, but I applaud its tenacity. 

Mishka had a seizure yesterday.  Not too bad.  And a much longer time in between than usual, so that's good.  He likes treats of yogurt (plain), almond oil, and this anti-hairball salmon goo from the grocery store.  He also loves that we're lighting fires in the wood stove most nights now.

I have baby pansies to plant.  Life goes on.
patinagle16: (Default)
Well it took me longer than I expected to get to these, but here they are at last.  Photos of the garden, taken on the equinox.  I'm particularly pleased with the pumpkins.  Ghost pumpkins - I love the white skins, and the one I cooked up last year was delicious.

pumpkins    Ghost pumpkin

roses    rose

petunias   patio pots

aspen


Swarmed!

Sep. 14th, 2010 10:24 am
patinagle16: (Default)
Since the visit from the bear I haven't been putting out seed for the birds.  After the summer rains, though, we've had fewer bear reports, so I went ahead and put some out today.

Ye gods!  Has no one been feeding these birds?  I'm swarmed with scrub jays and doves.  The jays are bickering over the seed - very excited.  They don't act this way when there's food out regularly for them.  I expect they'll settle down if I start keeping seed out for them.

It's definitely fall.  It was chilly this morning, and two of my three biggest aspens have turned.  I'll try to snap a pic to post.

Garden

Sep. 1st, 2010 11:08 am
patinagle16: (Default)
Just visited my garden.  Getting lots of tomatoes - which is good!  There's a freeze warning next week, so I'll have to get things in as much as I can - tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers.

The pumpkins are going great guns.  It's exciting!  Looking forward to lots of yummy pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie...

I love fall.

Hot again

Jul. 5th, 2010 01:59 pm
patinagle16: (Default)
We're back to dry weather for a couple of days.  More rain later in the week, maybe.  I think the true monsoons haven't quite started yet.

Pumpkins have sprouted, and the peas have just finished.  I like planting peas at the spring equinox and pumpkins at the summer solstice.  May do that again next year.

The cilantro has all bolted, but I did harvest a few leaves for pico de gallo on Saturday.  I really like growing the cilantro in patio pots.  Love the smell of it, which you get just by handling it.

I put the last two tomato plants into patio pots after realizing that I wasn't going to make the upside-down planters work this season.  Maybe next year.

Things they don't tell you about those upside-down planters:  They take a LOT of potting soil and are consequently FREAKING HEAVY!  They will bend a normal garden hook.  Can't just hang them anywhere.  I did put a plant in one early in the year and then it got taken out by a freeze.  It's just too much work to figure out where to hang it and get the thing set up.  

Lavender is blooming, and the roses are settling in nicely.  This morning I turned the cock on one of the water barrels halfway to water the rhubarb for a while.  When I went back to shut it off, I stupidly turned it full on instead.  So the rhubarb got an unexpectedly large drink (i.e., the entire contents of a nearly-full barrel).  We better have nice rhubarb, that's all I can say.
patinagle16: (Default)
Lovely rain again today.  Looks like the monsoons are here.  I adore rain, which is no surprise since I live in New Mexico.  We get a lot of sun here. 

Planted two rosebushes today, and potted some basil.  Gonna try growing it in containers that I can move indoors when it gets cold.  Just not warm enough here for it to thrive in the garden.

Midsummer

Jun. 21st, 2010 08:12 pm
patinagle16: (Default)
Midsummer today!

I planted pumpkins and harvested the last of the snow peas.

Am very much looking forward to the arrival of the monsoons.  We've had only a sprinkle of rain since early May.
patinagle16: (Default)
Mishka had another seizure on Wednesday.  (Pardon all the seizure reports - I am using this Comonplace Book to keep track of when they occur.)  This one scared us because he had been lying on his grooming stand, which is about 3.5 feet high, and he fell off it when he started seizing.  Luckily, no broken bones.  That cat has the hardest head in the world (I know because he's whacked me with it.)

No more napping on the grooming stand.  Sorry dude.

In other news, we had a swamp cooler installed this week.  It has made a huge difference in our comfort especially at night.  Our bedroom is at the southern end of the house, and at about 3:00 a.m. the day's heat works its way through the walls and we wake up hot.  Not happening with the thermostat-controlled swamp cooler.  Yay!  Sleeping better!

For those of you wondering what the heck a swamp cooler is, it's an evaporative air conditioning system.  (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler).  They're ubiquitous here in the southwest, where they function well in the arid climate.  Not so useful in humid areas.



patinagle16: (Default)
This happens to me every year.  The home stores and greenhouses where I shop are 1500 feet lower in elevation than my house, so by the time I'm ready to plant pansies, they've moved on and are only selling petunias.

I did buy a few pansies in February and put them out.  They sort of struggled through the cold spring, but being hardy did not croak.  They really took off around the beginning of May, though, and they're flourishing now.  

So - self, buy some pansies in February and keep them in the (unheated) sun room/greenhouse until the equinox or later. 
patinagle16: (Default)
Many PathsIt's now a year since my fantasy novel The Betrayal was published. The second novel was delayed because of the financial crisis, and won't be out until January 2011. Naturally, I was very disappointed about that.

I want my readers to have something new this year, so I've put together Many Paths, a collection of original stories set in the same world as the novel. It's an ebook, initially available only through Book View Café.

The stories range from short to novella in length and feature both familiar characters from The Betrayal and new faces. Together they make up a full book-length collection.

Contents: "The First Sword," "A Midsummer's Song," "The Three Veils," "Shades of Joy," "The Eighth Successor," and "First Love."

Available for $1.99 at Book View Café

read a free sample here:

http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php/Many-Paths-sample
patinagle16: (Default)
Mishka had a seizure again yesterday - fairly mild, thank goodness.

Why does he gallop during the fit? I mean, he's lying on his side, but his legs are galloping full speed. Weird.

He climbed on my desk the day before, wanting to be in my space. I let him sit there while I was reading online, but when I started to type he began to twitch with every keystroke, so it was sorry, sayonara and onto the floor with him. It's spooky how those little clicks zap his brain.

The cold weather has been a drag for him. On cloudy days he'll sit by the back door where the sun should be shining in and yell at me to turn it on. Failing that, a fire in the wood stove is acceptable.

Looking forward to longer days. We're having fires in the evening now, but no longer all day unless there's a storm. Several times this week we've had a couple of inches of snow at night, melts off by afternoon.
patinagle16: (Default)
Saw a hummingbird today. They're still coming through, but I've only been seeing one at a time at the feeder, instead of swarms. No fights.

Last night I put the heater in the bird bath. This morning, a dusting of snow. Wednesday we are supposed to get whomped.

We were out running errands today and a roadrunner crossed the road in front of us. Not very fast; we had to swerve to avoid hitting him.

The coolest birds we've seen lately were a flock of about 8 wild turkeys on the road to our neighborhood, Saturday morning. First time we've seen them in the area!
patinagle16: (aurora)
Saw the first junco of the season today. Still a few hummingbirds, but not throngs. Flickers invaded a couple of weeks ago.
patinagle16: (Default)
May Day was always a fascination to me.  As a child I had heard stories about May Day and May baskets, leaving secret presents for neighbors at dawn, that kind of thing.  I never really got to participate in it, though.  It was always one of those "wouldn't it be great" things. 

May Day is an ancient fertility celebration.  Some interpret that as meaning wild revelry ("Tra-la, it's May, the lusty month of May...") but I tend to think about gardening.  Unfortunately, where I live, May Day is not yet frost-free time, but I have plants growing indoors.  Some quite enthusiastically, practically screaming to get their little roots into the garden soil.  They must wait a week or two. 

There are some lovely May carols, with dairy maids and garlands of flowers left by mysterious suitors and all that sort of pastoral thing.  I love these.  I also love Maypole dances, which I've actually done.  And another May tradition - the "Belfire" or bonfire - is something I'm always in favor of (though I've never jumped over one).

For a while May Day was co-opted by communism, kind of the antithesis of the pastoral celebration.  It's also become International Workers' Day, which is fine but nowhere near as romantic and fun as the old traditions.

I'm a sucker for romance and tradition.  So I will at least light a candle for May Day and probably try to do something with flowers.  My schedule isn't going to permit more this year, alas, but maybe next year. 



patinagle16: (Default)
Snow again Friday, a couple of inches in the morning and showers off and on all day.  Snow on the ground still yesterday morning, all melted off by evening.  Today, sunshine.  The forest is happy for the moisture, happy for the sun.

Spring Snow

Mar. 9th, 2009 12:57 pm
patinagle16: (comonplace)
Was all set to make a gleeful post about the daffodils and tulips that are sending up leaves.  Woke to snow this morning.  It's melting at the moment, so the water barrels will be replenished.  Moisture is always welcome; we've been having fire danger warnings lately, so this is good.

I am a little worried about the wildflower seeds I've been sowing.  But, ah well.  There are always more seeds. 

In Between

Feb. 10th, 2009 12:39 pm
patinagle16: (aurora)
Snow today. Looks very wintery, but there are the pansies. Also some seedlings I planted indoors a week ago are already poking up their tiny heads.

Spring here is often windy, which is no fun. It can also snow as late as early May. So regardless of the weather, it's still spring for me.

Lots of bluebirds and robins in the bird bath. Pine siskins gobbling thistle. A couple of days ago we're pretty sure we saw some cedar waxwings, a first for us in this location. I'd heard they were in the area, and had been wanting to see them.

Now the sun is coming out, though it's still snowing. Sun flurries.

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