carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

The Ultimate Garden Compliment

Hummingbirds fighting over your plants….. Yes, that is it.

We have had a good bit of rain this summer.  Some times it comes down as a gully washer, sometimes nice and gentle.  For me it has been a little tricky about when to put out plant food.  One day last week I realized I must have timed it just right when I looked out my kitchen window and saw this.

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Most everything blooming together at the same time.  (Sorry the color is washed out.  Still using my tablet instead of a camera)

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And as I went back in there was a hummingbird fight going on over head.  Made me feel good that my plants were such a treat that they were worth fighting over.

The pampered hydrangea still looks good.

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The elephant ears have done so well

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They will definitely go back there next year.  I am thinking that if I can get some bamboo I might make a trellis to help support them.  The lower plants are sort of lost and still have to be watered some times since the big leaves are like umbrellas.  For some reason I have lost my lambs ear plants here and out front.  I don’t know if it is too damp or what.

The begonias are doing well

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Again, the color is not true.  They are a very pretty rosy pink.

I have been going to the State Farmer’s Market.  Managed to get my knives sharpened there too. Only been trying to get that done for MONTHS!  (Becks https://beckscutlery.com/)

I had some time to wait while my knives were being worked on so I looked at plants which I normally do not do.  Of course I had to buy one.

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A very dark, almost black purple vinca.  Real tickled to find this.  It will move into its own pot, if it ever stops raining long enough.  And next to it, a little airplane plant that I pinched from a public planter.  Gotta get that in dirt soon too.

The deck has taken on a nice jungle feel.  Guppy and I brave the mosquitoes and sit out there for a bit most every evening.  And I try to remind her how fortunate we both are.

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Summer Project

I am not doing much at all this summer.  At the beginning of summer, I decided to put the few projects that I have left that I want to do to our condo on hold and just spend the summer reading.  So that is what I have been doing.  But I did do this.

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See the ugly green phone wiring box in the yard.

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Well I slip covered it with 3 pieces of black foam core board from the Dollar Store.  I think it looks much better and it makes a nice stand for a plant.

Hope you are having a nice summer.  Look for another post soon about the garden.

 

 

 

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Guppy’s Summer Thoughts

Guest Post: By Guppy, the Lucky Dog 3

We are having a calm summer.  I have to be pretty quiet for 60 DAYS after my last heartworm treatment.  She explained that what happens is the heartworms are killed and are supposed to gradually pass out of my body as little bits.  But if I get too excited a big clump might break off and that might make my heart stop.  So even though it has been really hard I have done my best to not run around a lot.  She says we only have to wait until August 14.  Then we can start to go to the dog park and play with other dogs.

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That is the new Asian man that I had to use my allowance to buy. (Remember a month or so ago those other Asian men were bothering me when She and Ben went somewhere and left me alone with them.)   She is all mad about it because it was not what She ordered.  But it would have been okay except for the green.  She decided to live with it for a while.  And just because I am dropping a few hairs, I had to use my allowance to buy a vacuum too.  I don’t like it at all.  It makes a noise that hurts my ears a lot.  She doesn’t use it too much but when she does I try to bite it.  I’ll never get any new toys…..

For my graduation they did buy me a piece of jewelry.

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I wear it all the time.  No one had ever bought me jewelry before.  And I got

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these great bowls and a new table cloth.  She says this can be my china pattern.  The ‘Sainted Siena’ had her own china pattern but I am not allowed to use it.  It is best that I have one all my own.  I think my ‘motif’ must be fish.  What do you think?

Anyway, Ben and I have our own special time together every morning.

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Well, I think that I am having a very good summer.  Hope you are too.

 

 

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A Big Week

Guest Post:  By Guppy, The Lucky Dog 3

Well this second full week in June was certainly a busy one for me.  On Tuesday I went to see my new vet, Dr. Melissa Hudson at Northwoods Animal Hospital in Cary.  Link to Northwoods  She said that She had known Dr. Hudson since she was a pup.  Apparently, She used to come here all the time many years ago, bringing good dogs to see Melissa’s father, Dr. Dan Hudson.  Going all the way back to Bailey, the cocker spaniel.  That was a really long time ago and then there were the two Afghan hounds, Shamir and The Contessa, and then Hawthorn and even the Sainted Siena came here.  I’m guessing that the only dog that She had, that never came here, was Nerone.  (Sometimes Ben calls me Nerone.  That’s okay because he was a pretty good looking dog so I don’t mind being mistaken for him)  Anyway, my Dr. Hudson was pretty nice and didn’t do any thing really awful to me.  So I guess I won’t mind going back to see her again.

That night after we finished at the vet, we went home and got Ben and then it was off to dog school for graduation. Link to Dream Dogs  I think I did pretty well.  I lost a few points on ‘recall, come and sit’.  I got distracted by my friend Grace.  (She’s just so cute and stylish.  And petite.  She reminded me of my puppies)  Otherwise I did real well on all the exercises.  She and Ben were so proud of me.  She said that one of those Afghans, The Contessa, had flunked dog school.  Can you imagine?

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(Photo credit Robina Thornton)

Anyway, She said we are going to work all summer on exercises and then in the fall I can go back for ‘Distraction Dog’.  I’ll learn how to ignore squirrels.  I was going to work on that this summer since some group has opened a day camp for young squirrels in the big tree by the deck.  (Sometimes there must be 15 or 20 of them up there!)  but what happened to me next will keep me from doing that.

On Wednesday, She and Ben took me back to Saving Grace, the rescue place that I came from.  link to Saving Grace  I know that She and Ben hugged me and told me that they would be back.  I didn’t want to go.  It took a whole lot for me to walk through that gate.  I was real upset and depressed.  I was there for a long time.  She said it was only two nights but it felt like a really long time to me.  Anyway, they gave me big ole shots that hurt.  They are for my heartworm.  So now I need to be quiet for 60 DAYS.  The nasty heartworms die and break off.  If I get too excited too many of them might break off at a time and that would be really bad.

I was moping around on Friday, really sad, napping in my little box when one of the nice volunteers came to get me.  The volunteer walked me out and there was She waiting for me.  I was soooooo happy.  And Ben was in the car.  She says that all the papers are signed and they are really my people now.

 

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I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am.

 

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Deck Pics

From walking Guppy I realized that I always post pictures of the deck taken on the deck rather than looking at it from a distance.

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I do enjoy having flowers on the deck.  Birds have made a nest in my $5 fern from the Lowes reduced rack.  They dash off everytime someone goes in and out.

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The blue thing to the right of the door is a stack of chairs to use when we have folks over.

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All the rain has set the elephant ears off.  They are really doing well.  You can just see bits of the pink flamingo that I got at the Dollar Store.  It was just the right size to squeeze in there.

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This is my favorite to look at.  I like all the shades of green, the purple of the elephant ears with the purple pots.  And the pinks and blues.

Guppy and I brave the mosquitoes and sit out there every night.  Since I have started walking her and seen other units on the property I am glad that we have the one we have.  Not every one has such a nice private space.

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Uh Oh

Guest Post by:  Guppy, The Lucky Dog 3

She says I have a lot of ‘pastore’ in me.  Whatever that is.  I just know that my Momma told me that I had some Shepard blood in me.  I like to be with my peeps and have them in my sight.  Which is actually pretty easy with She and Ben.  There is not much place to hide here.  I mean, there is that upstairs, but those steps, kinda slippy and steep.  It took me a few weeks before I would go up there.  (There are real nice beds up there.  I’m kinda hoping that will be my room….)   Anyway, only She goes up there and never for too long.  But they do both leave!  Really!

Why leave?  I’m here.  What else do they need?  I was okay the first few times they left.  I mean I was takin’ drugs for the pain from my operation and still getting adjusted and all.  So everything was fine.  But then I started to feel better, the drugs stopped and a little bit of anxiety returned when they left.  I could climb up on the bed at the back and see out to watch them leave but I couldn’t see out the front.  It took me a while before I figured out that I could climb up a metal rack that She has all these pots and pans on, then pull down the shades and walk around on the big piece of furniture so that I could see out the window in the front.  I pressed my nose up against the window and made all kinds of noise asking folks if they had seen my peeps.  I mean, it had been at least 10 minutes since I saw them.  I was so upset.  I walked around again and my tail must have hit something so this bowl went flying off and broke.  Well, that scared me so I jumped down and more things went flying off.  (Bananas I think.)  I ran off to hide on the bed.  After a while, I stopped shaking so I came over to look.  Had to bat those bananas around.  Turn them from yellow to black.  That was kinda fun.  And then they came home!  Oh, She was upset!

So the next time they went out they made me go in my crate.

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I figured out how to get out of that pretty fast and climbed right back up on the furniture again.  I knocked a bunch of stuff off again and got scared, but nothing broke this time.  But I’ll be….there were those yellow bananas again.  I played with them for a long time until they got all black.

The next time they went out, She put those cords on real tight and I couldn’t get out but I was still real scared.  I think the dog training lady told her to cover up the crate so I couldn’t see as much and that I would feel better about things.  That pretty much works but I don’t like it when they go out.  The next time She decided to put my crate in Ben’s cubby hole.  Every now and then I like to sit in there for a bit so I guess she decided that might be easier than covering my crate.  WELL!  There was this big ole Chinese man staring at me.  I had to tell him what’s what.

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I just ripped him up.  That got rid of him.  I was about to start on the other one when they came home.  Ohhhhh, She was awful upset.  She says that I have to buy a new Chinese man for Ben and a new rod and pay for them  from my money.  No new toys for me.

So, I’m trying to be better.  She got me ‘hug shirt’ that I can put on whenever I have to do something scary.  Probably wear it a lot this week.  I have to go to the vet, then dog school graduation, then back to Saving Grace for my last treatment.  I have to spend two nights there.  Then when they come to get me She and Ben will sign my final papers.  Even though I made her pretty mad I think She will come back to get me.  I sure hope so.

 

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Dog School

Guest Post: By Guppy, the Lucky Dog 3

 

Dog school, again tonight.  Finally, She has caught on and we are doing things I enjoy.  COME.  I mean REALLY!  How easy could it be.  Run to the person calling you who loves you and/or gives you treats.  There we were in the class room.  That silly big lump Max was there but none of those other dogs, just the two of us.  Max’s person clearly had not done his homework.  She didn’t do much of it with me because it was so obvious that I knew this.

She, the nice lady with treats (She calls her the ‘teacher’) and Ben.  They all stood in a triangle calling me, so I would run from one to the other and they gave me treats.  (Silly People) Well, I aced that.  Afterwards She hugged me and said I must have learned that from a certain black and white dog.  I don’t know who She is talking about but there were little tears in her eyes.  I gotta figure out who this black and white dog is….

Anyway, only one more class.  I heard She talking about some other dog, an Afghan that She knew.  That Afghan had flunked dog school.  Oh my!  Well that won’t happen with me.  As long as some stupid squirrel doesn’t come through class.

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Garden update

I whined so much about having to cover my hydrangea that I thought it deserved a post.

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It is at the base of a cherry tree half of which broke off a few years ago.  It was ugly, so I thought placing the pot here would make it look better.

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Last year when I bought it, it was a wonderful blue.  I’ll have to do some PH adjusting of the soil to get it back to blue.

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The perennial bed that I started in the front is not as showy as I hoped for.  Very few of the day lilies have bloomed.  Maybe they just need another year to get adjusted.  The cannas will have to carry the show again.

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Tour D’ Coop

This year I finally got to go to Tour D’ Coop.  A tour of chicken coops in Raleigh.  A fund raising event for Urban Ministries of Wake County.  Wow, what could be better?  Seeing chickens and giving to a charity.

I have known about this for a number of years.  I didn’t get to go last year because it was on the last day of our move and I had to clean up where we had been staying and I was exhausted!  So I was really looking forward to today.  Turned out to be a really nice event.

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Since I didn’t get started at the crack of dawn I concentrated on the coops in downtown and what is now known as mid-town (North Hills if you have lived here a long time).  Two areas of town that I have previously lived in.  It was kind of fun to poke around in my old neighborhoods.

Generally, folks who keep chickens are interested in where their food comes from, so they also have nice gardens.  And some unique art and a quirky thing or two.

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This was interesting, a solar chandelier in the chicken coop.

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What a good use for a golf bag caddy.  (There are a lot of clever folks out there)

I liked the folks who took the time to put up info about each chicken

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All the coops were well built and maintained.  The most interesting to me was the one at an office building.

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This structure was built on to the courtyard area of the office building.  I talked with a staff member of the practice.  The doctor’s wife did not want chickens at their home so they ended up at the office.  The staff member said that they can be seen from several offices.  Staff members come out for their break or lunch with the chickens.  What an employee benefit!

I had never seen this before.

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Suspend a whole cabbage or head of lettuce and watch your chicken jump to get it.

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A last thought….

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What happened to May?

My favorite month is almost over.  At least it is now reliably warm, sometimes HOT!  And the rain, Man! has it rained here.  Lots.  I am still without a camera but here are a few snaps of how wonderful the deck looks.

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This is how it looked about 10 days ago

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Those elephant ears have taken off.  I started the caladiums from the bulbs of last year.  Usually they don’t come back for me, but this year they did.

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Most of the plants on the  table have moved to the new garden that I started this spring.  (More about that in another post) I was tickled that the light jars made the move safely.  And check out my cool pink wine glass. (thanks Jane)  Those who knew us in Virginia might remember the blue and yellow planter boxes that I used there.  I packed and stored them.  They survived and are being used again.  My father made these for me from light weight wooden produce boxes that he probably picked up from a trash pile in Florida.  I painted them to match a table top that we had there.  If they make it through the summer I might paint them black for next year.

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Under the table, again this year, I have a nice mix of begonias and impatients.  I just have to remember to water them occasionally since they don’t get rained on too much.  I think they have filled the space nicely.

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This summer spiraea is doing well.  Can you even see the gas meter?

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All and all it has turned out to be a great space.  Guppy enjoys it too.  Now if it will ever stop raining and I can just get rid of the UGLY buses….. working on that.

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