Sunday, March 31, 2024

Monthly Photo Challenge - March

Eileen is hosting the March Monthly Photo Challenge (although she is currently unable to access her blog!) and the theme is "Begins with Q or R" and "there must be at least two photos for the letter Q!"

These are my finds for the March Photo Challenge:

"Begins with Q":


Fan Quilt Drying on the Rack

Scrap Quilt on the Bed

Quarter(s) - Money:

Quarter Dollars or Quarters
Each is worth 25 Cents

Quarter(s) - Music:

Quarter Note

Also known as "crotchet" in the UK, but known as a quarter note in the US.


Quavers or Eighth Notes

Known as a quaver in the UK and called an eighth note in the US!

And here they are together!

A Quaver and a Quarter Note!


Quality Street

"Begins with R":


Red Stemmed Celery Stalks


Red Roses

Rose Leaves:
Rose Leaves




And last, but, not least:


Dancer Demonstrates "Round"

Thank you, Eileen, for this opportunity to participate in the Monthly Photo Challenge.  I had a lot of fun with this challenge!

April's Monthly Photo Challenge theme is "Weather".  

Easter Sunday

The First Rose of Spring

There was rain, Saturday night into early Sunday morning, but, the rest of Sunday has been dry.

I woke up around 10:00 a.m. (after going to bed at 4:00 a.m.) and didn't go back to sleep, so, maybe I'll be able to go to sleep a little earlier tonight.  

My daughter and I have had a fairly relaxed day, today.  She helped me do a little more furniture rearranging:

The Croton Has a Home

We pushed the dining table a little bit to make room for another plant stand that I had been using as a display stand in the living room.  It is one of a pair that I bought, back in the early 1980s, when my mother, step-father, and I were living in an apartment.    It is sturdy enough for the croton.  We also removed the wheels from the new plant stand because daughter thought the stand was not as steady with the wheels.  Of course, this arrangement requires the plant stands to be moved aside a bit when we need to use the dining table for a sit down meal, but, I don't eat at this table on a regular basis when I'm by myself and the next big gathering will probably be Thanksgiving, so, we are set for several months.  Oh, and I added a couple of bowls and vases to the empty shelves on the new plant stand, after I took this photo, to deter Dancer from climbing up (although he has not shown any signs of wanting to do so, as yet).  

While moving the furniture, I bent down to reposition the dracaena plant that we moved from this window to the other end of the dining table, and managed to knock my head on the sharp corner of the china cabinet!  I applied an ice pack, but, I now have a lovely bump on my right temple, just above the dent left from when I fell in the bathroom (years ago) and knocked my head on the shower door rail! 

I ran the dishwasher and wiped down the kitchen counters (and will clean the litter box and sweep the bathroom, later), but, that's all the housework I plan to do, today.  I also watered all the houseplants, but, I don't consider that as housework.  

In the evening, I called friend R and chatted with her for a bit.  I'm planning to stop by her apartment, tomorrow, to drop off a few things for her.

We had leftover pastries for brunch and I cut up the pineapple I had bought during my last grocery shopping order (and I just remembered that I had not posted the details of that, yet!) and made more avocado pudding.  We will have leftovers from last night's dinner for dinner, tonight.  

By the way, we had a visitor, last night:

Rocky Raccoon, I Presume?

Poor Patches had been eating the kibble when the raccoon appeared and tipped over the plate to help itself to the kibble!  Patches pressed herself against the door, to the right of the picture, terrified of this big thief!  But, the raccoon ignored her, completely.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter being home to help me rearrange the furniture
- A relaxed, restful day
- Working appliances
- Being able to order kitty litter online and have it delivered
- Leftovers!

Today's joyful activity was spending time with my daughter.  She's feeling just a bit under the weather, but, still planning to leave, tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow include making milkrice in the morning, taking my daughter to the airport in the afternoon, and taking a few things to my friend R in the evening.  

Hope everyone had a lovely day, today.  What are your plans for Monday?  Are you ready to start a new month?

Rainy Saturday

An Early Easter Dinner Compliments of Neighbor S and Family

It started to rain on Friday night and rained practically all night, quite heavily at times.  It rained on and off, today (Saturday), too, and there's more rain in the forecast for tomorrow (Sunday).

I was up until just after 3:00 a.m., then, went to bed and fell asleep fairly quickly.  I woke up, briefly, when daughter woke up at 6:00 a.m., but, went back to sleep and slept till noon!  I woke up when neighbor S called me! 

Last week, when neighbor S brought us the Armenian pizza for dinner, she told me not to prepare anything for Easter dinner because her mother was making her famous fried tilapia (which I love) and she would bring us our Easter dinner, but, it might be on Saturday night, instead of Sunday.  Today, she called to let me know that they will be preparing their Easter meal today and she will bring me dinner in the evening!  Later in the evening, she called to let me know that she was bringing us dinner and brought us two plates with fried fish, rice pilaf (cooked with vermicelli), cabbage slaw, two hard boiled eggs, and another small plate with two Easter breads!  Such a lovely meal and so generous of S and her family!  

In return, as a small thank you, I gave S the wreath I had made for her:   

Spring Wreath

Yes, I used the passionfruit vine wreath that I had made, earlier, and decorated it with some ribbons and flowers I had on hand.  The roses are set into tiny terra cotta pots.

And for S's mother L, I put together a mini basket of roses:

A Mini Basket of Roses

I hope they like them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Today, in the afternoon, I did three loads of laundry and did a little dusting and tidying in the living room and dining area.

I had ordered a small plant stand for the dining area, which doesn't have a lot of room, but has south facing windows, and my daughter put the stand together for me on Friday night.  I had been hoping that I could place the croton and the anthurium plants on it (instead of having them on the dining table), but, because I had ordered a smaller stand to fit into the spot, the shelves for the plants are only about six inches in diameter and the croton plant is too big for it!  The anthurium sits nicely on the top and I managed to find a few other items to place on the other shelves to discourage Dancer from trying to climb up and to provide a bit of weight and stability.

New Plant Stand/Display Unit!

Right now, it looks more like a display unit for my blue and white china collection than a plant stand!  LOL.  I have a rooted pothos cutting in water on one shelf, the Christmas cactus cutting that M gave me in one of the mandarin duck planters on another shelf, and the anthurium plant on top.  Obviously, I need to get some smaller plants to display on the other shelves!  Something that Dancer won't be tempted to eat, or, at the very least, something that won't be toxic to him!  Maybe I can try out the dog bane/scaredy cat plant on him!  The plant stand is on wheels (which can be locked in place) so it can be moved if I have guests to dinner, etc., so that the person seated at the head of the table can move the chair back easily, without bumping into the plant stand!  

Former neighbor T called in the afternoon and was concerned that I might be by myself on Easter, but, I  assured her that my daughter will be with me.  I thought it was very sweet of her to be concerned.  Friend R called, too, later in the evening, and I received a lovely e-card from a friend of mine.  I am truly blessed with good friends and neighbors.

Today, I am grateful for:

- The rain for the garden
- Neighbor S and her family and the lovely Easter meal they provided 
- Other friends and former neighbors who call and check on me
- Working appliances
- A warm and dry house

Saturday's joyful activity was spending time with my daughter.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday.  I wish all of my readers who celebrate the day a very happy and blessed Easter.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Sleepless Nights


Pastries and Other Treats

I have been having some sleepless nights.  On Wednesday, I was up all night and finally went to sleep after 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, when I had almost given up on falling asleep.  Then, I slept all morning, waking up a few times to feed Dancer, when aunt C called to check on me, and when I heard my daughter talking on a work-related phone call.  Each time, however, I fell asleep, again.  

The rest of the day passed quickly on Thursday.  Daughter and I had leftovers for brunch and for dinner, we cooked some rice and part of a package of frozen General Tso's chicken I had bought, and we made a cucumber salad to go with it.  I also made a flan that I had promised to make for my daughter.

Then, the same thing happened again and I stayed up all night!  It was 5:30 a.m. before I went to bed!  Again, I got up once or twice to feed Dancer, went back to sleep, and didn't wake up till noon!    I really, really need to try to sleep by 1:00 a.m., tonight!

This afternoon, daughter and I went to the Cuban bakery that is very popular here to pick up some treats we had pre-ordered.  Pictured above, on the plate are a round meat pastry, a cheese pastry and a guava strudel, a seafood potato ball, a chicken croquette, and a chicken empanada.  We also bought a French baguette, which is not pictured. 

Later, we did some crafting; daughter worked on her beading and I put together a little floral arrangement and a wreath to give as Easter gifts.  I will post photos, later. 

M was here in the evening to tend to the garden and we shared some of the pastries with him.  He did some weeding and clearing; he didn't water the garden because there is rain in the forecast for the weekend.  In fact, there is a light rain falling even as I type this at 11:00 p.m.  According to the forecast, we'll get a good shower of rain, tomorrow.  I'm sure the garden will appreciate it.

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to sleep in on days following a sleepless night
- Being able to treat ourselves to some delicious bakery goods
- M's help with the garden
- Working appliances
- My blood clot is getting better

Today's joyful activities included crafting, tending to the garden, and enjoying some treats.  

We have no special plans for tomorrow.  Daughter and I will spend the day relaxing and maybe do a bit more crafting together.

How was your Friday?  What are your plans for Saturday?

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Busy Wednesday


Dogbane a.k.a. ScaredyCat (Coleus caninus a.k.a. Plectranthus caninus) Flowers

The dogbane plant is apparently also known as scaredy cat plant, and it seems to have two scientific names according to internet sources: Coleus caninus and Plectranthus caninus.  The leaves have a strong smell which is supposed to repel dogs and cats;  I don't know if it actually does, I still have cats in the garden, but, I don't see them lolling around in the plant, either.  I have taken a few cuttings and planted them in the front garden, under the eucalyptus tree and they seem to be doing okay, there.  Maybe I'll take more cuttings and plant them around any vegetable plants I might grow this year, to see if they will discourage certain kitties from getting into the planting beds!  Remember this picture from last year?

Mama Cat in the Squash and Tomato Plants

It was another sunny day, on Wednesday, with a daytime high of 68F, but, it felt much warmer than that in the sun.  I had gone to bed at 3:45 a.m., but, I couldn't fall asleep until after 5:00 a.m.  Then, of course, Dancer woke me up at around 7:00 a.m. and I gave him his breakfast.  I went back to sleep and woke up at 10:00 a.m.

M was here later in the morning to tend to the garden.  He admired the croton plant, planted the bulbs for me, and did a lot of pruning in the front garden.  We thinned out the Euphorbia tirucalli growing along the side wall, to let in more sunshine on the other succulents growing there and thinned out the new growth on the feijoa (pineapple guava) tree growing by the side of the house.  The gas meter is located near that tree and I wanted the branches cut back to give better access to the gas meter.  Afterwards, he weeded the parkway - even though we put down the pebbles, the rains we had have encouraged some weeds to push through.  

Later in the afternoon, I put in an order for groceries.  With daughter staying another week, we needed a few more groceries.  I will do a separate grocery post, later.  Since I've already spent my March grocery budget, I'm going to consider today's grocery order as the first of April's grocery orders!  I picked up the groceries at 3:00 p.m. and picked up some hamburgers and fries for our brunch, with a buy one get one free coupon, for our brunch.   

In the evening, after daughter had finished her work for the day, we took Dancer for a long overdue visit to the vet!  I gave him the sedative an hour before his appointment and while he was not exactly happy about being put in his carrier and taken in the car, he was less stressed and daughter sitting with him and speaking soothingly to him probably helped, too.  He received the injection for his arthritis and had some blood work done to test his thyroid levels.  The vet will call me back once the test results are in, to see if we need to make any further adjustments to his medication.

After we came home, we had tea (me) and coffee (daughter) and I watched the last 15 minutes of the nightly news.

Then, it was time to cook dinner.  I had bought some shrimp (on sale for $6.99/lb.) when I ordered groceries, and I made a shrimp curry while daughter put the rice to boil.  I also took out the package of passionfruit pulp that I had frozen and made a jug of passionfruit drink to have with our dinner.  Dancer had a bit of tuna as a special treat, for his dinner, to make up for having to go to the vet's clinic!

On Wednesday, I was grateful for:

- M's help with the garden
- Being able to order and pick up groceries without any problems
- Vet care for Dancer
- Daughter being there to help with taking Dancer to the vet's
- Chatting on the phone with my half-sister

Wednesday's joyful activity was planting the newly purchased bulbs with M.

No special plans for Thursday.  I might do a load of laundry (the sofa dust sheets), and the kitchen counters could do with some clearing and wiping down.  

How was your Wednesday?  Any special plans for Thursday?

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Sunny and Productive on Tuesday, Too!

More California Poppies

Another sunny day, on Tuesday.  The California poppies are flowering in my garden and I love their orange color. 

I brought in the emptied trash cans and walked a bit in the garden, today.  Later, I did a load of laundry, put away dried laundry from yesterday, emptied the dish washer, and, with Rebel's help, vacuumed my daughter's bedroom, the hallway, the dining area, and the living room.  Rebel even decided to go into the kitchen, although I had swept it, yesterday.  It still doesn't go in any particular order, so, some areas get vacuumed repeatedly and other areas get skipped over, but, the general idea is, if you vacuum often enough, most of the floor will get vacuumed, eventually!  What I find most amusing is, if it encounters a chair or table leg, and there's enough room for it to go under the piece of furniture, it will go around the leg at least once!  I don't know why I find it so amusing, but, I do!  I'm easily amused, I guess!  Often, I will sing, "Here we go around the mulberry bush" when it does that!  LOL!  Did I mention that I am easily amused?

Brunch was an assortment of leftovers - a piece of the raisin bread with a banana, followed by some chicken curry and Armenian bread that I had bought on Saturday when I went to pick up my medicated cream from the store in Hollywood.  For dinner, I made garlic bread with some of the Armenian bread and daughter had that with leftover chicken laab from the Thai food place and I had it with leftover beef curry!  Fusion cuisine at the Bless household!  

Today, I am grateful for:

- Daughter giving me the robot vacuum as a Christmas gift
- Working appliances
- Weekly trash collections
- Sunny days
- Phone calls and emails with family and friends

Today's joyful activity was watching some gardening videos.

Plans for tomorrow include tending to the garden with M.  

How was your Tuesday?  What are your plans for Wednesday?

Sunny Monday

Nectarine Flowers

I am hopeful that the nectarine tree will bear some fruit, this year; but, even if it doesn't, the flowers are definitely worth growing the tree, aren't they?

Monday was sunny and lovely.  I woke up a few times (once when Dancer threw up, once to feed him), but, each time, I went back to sleep and slept the morning away!  I am sure I needed the extra sleep (I was experiencing some back pain), but, I was mad at myself for sleeping in till so late!  It put my whole schedule off!

Nevertheless, I had a productive day.  I cleaned the floor where Dancer threw up.  I emptied the dishwasher, reloaded it, and ran it.  I washed Dancer's dishes by hand.  I stripped my bed and washed the bed sheets and did a load of clothes, too.  I put away one load of laundry and, once the bed sheets had dried, remade the bed with my daughter's help.  I washed the bath mats and kitchen rugs and hung them to dry, swept the kitchen, swept and mopped the bathroom (cleaned Dancer's litter box, too) before I put the dried mats down.  The washing machine indicated that it needed to be cleaned after I did the bath mats and kitchen rug, so I ran the cleaning cycle.  I cleaned out the fridge and took the trash can and recycling bin to the curb for pick up on Tuesday morning.  My daughter took the yard waste bin out because it was a bit heavy.  I persuaded Rebel the Robot to vacuum my bedroom and vacuum the family room, again, without any problems, and I rewarded it by giving it a good cleaning (my daughter and I have long hair and there were quite a few hairs tangled up in Rebel's brushes!)

I had given the house a good cleaning just before daughter came home, but, since then, with my blood clot bothering me, I have done minimal housework.  So, the house really needed a good cleaning again, and I am happy with what I was able to get done, on Monday.  I took my time as I didn't want to aggravate my back, but, I had applied some Tiger Balm to the base of my spine once I woke up and that helped and the pain went away over the course of the day.

In between housework, I chatted with friend R and aunt C.  I emailed a couple of friends and checked on the garden.  Brunch and dinner were assorted leftovers we had in the fridge.

On Monday, I was grateful for:

- My blood clot is starting to clear, I think
- Daughter being here to help and keep me company
- Working appliances
- Feeling better
- What I was able to accomplish

Monday's joyful activity was strolling around the garden.

Plans for Tuesday include getting Rebel to vacuum the living room and hallway!  Also, more laundry (daughter's bed sheets, the family room sofa dust sheets, etc.)

How was your Monday?  What are your plans for Tuesday?

Monday, March 25, 2024

Rain on Sunday, Too

New Croton Plant

One of the purchases at the dollar store, on Saturday, was this croton plant, which, at $30.00 was the most expensive item I bought!

I had been wanting a new houseplant and had looked up the prices of some houseplants online, but, hadn't decided quite which one I wanted.  The dollar store had both croton plants and dwarf banana plants, and I was tempted to buy both, but, I chose to get the croton.  The banana plant would have to be grown outside and with night time temperatures still going down to the low 40s (tonight's low is supposed to be 43F), I wasn't sure how well it would survive.

The croton, however, could be grown indoors (provided it gets enough sunlight), or, it could be grown outdoors, once the temperature is consistently above 50F, even at night.  We used to have crotons in the garden in my childhood home, but, previous attempts at growing them, here, had met with limited success.  I am hoping that this time, I'll have better luck!

All parts of the croton plant are toxic to cats, so I have placed it on a high counter (the pass through between the kitchen and the family room), out of Dancer's reach.  I might have to move it to the dining table, in front of the window, to receive more sunlight (and make sure that Dancer doesn't jump on the table.

There are three plants in the one pot

It rained on Sunday, too, and daughter and I decided to stay home and relax.  I tried on the clothes that my cousin gave us (daughter had already selected the ones she wanted) and I selected five blouses.  All of them are long sleeved, four of them are summer blouses and one is a knit fabric, suitable for cooler weather, which is a "maybe".  It's mostly black, with a bright pink animal design v-shaped insert in the front!  I am not quite sure if I like the design, but, I will keep it for now and then decide if I want to give it away.

I also got the robot vacuum to vacuum the family room, today, and it complied without any problems!  Yay!

We had chicken pot pies from the freezer for brunch, today.  Later in the evening, neighbor S called and brought over lahmajoon (Armenian "pizza") that her mother had made, stuffed zucchini that her daughter had made, and some Easter bread that a friend had made!  There were also some candy, too! We had some of the lahmajoon for dinner!

Dinner: Stuffed Zucchini, Lahmajoon, Easter Bread, and Candy

 On Sunday, I was grateful for:

- More rain for the garden
- S bringing us a delicious dinner
- My leg is feeling better
- A relaxed day at home
- Working appliances

Today's joyful activity was enjoying the dinner that neighbor S provided!

Tomorrow, daughter will work from home and I will tend to a few things around the house.  There's dried laundry to be put away, another load of laundry (bed sheets) to be done, and I need to make an appointment to take Dancer in to be checked by the vet. 

How was your Sunday?  What are your plans for Monday?

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Rain on Saturday

Flower Bulbs

I woke up to the sound of rain on Saturday morning, but, the rain cleared later in the morning and the rest of the day was clear, with some sunshine, although there were plenty of clouds in the sky.  

We decided to drive to Hollywood to the little store from where I bought the medicated cream my doctor prescribed for my blood clot.  I am supposed to apply the cream three times a day and the tube of cream I bought after the doctor's appointment is coming to an end.  It looks like a tube will last me about 10 days or so and, while the leg is getting better (today was the first day it didn't hurt when I touched the blood clot area to rub the cream in), the clot is still there.  The doctor did say it would take two to three weeks or longer for it to go away.  So, I played it safe and bought three more tubes of the cream.  

While at the store, I also bought some Armenian bread and two raisin buns for a treat.  I love raisin buns, but, the regular grocery store doesn't have them and I haven't had any since before the initial lockdown.

Then, we drove straight to the pharmacy close to my house to pick up my asthma inhaler that was ready for pick up.  I looked to see if they had another pair of compression socks, but, they didn't.  They also didn't have the other, arthritis pain cream the doctor had recommended I applied to the blood clot area for the pain, on their shelves, but, the store website says they have it, so, I might have to order it online.

We could have come home directly afterwards.  I really didn't need anything from the dollar store, nextdoor.  But, I wanted to get a box of microwave popcorn!  The regular popping corn kernels I had bought from the grocery store make perfectly good popped corn, but, they are not quite as soft as the microwave popcorn and I am not able to get them to taste like kettle corn, even after adding sugar to the popped corn.  Besides, I wanted to go in and see what else they had!  Daughter was agreeable (the dollar store near her apartment had closed and she hasn't been to a dollar store in a long time).  So, we went into the dollar store.

"We don't need a cart" I said, as we went in.  Ten steps inside the store, I sent daughter to get us a cart!  LOL.  They had large flower pots and M had been asking me if I had any larger flower pots to transplant the aloe vera and a few other plants.  The pots were plastic, but, at $2.50 each, they were a good price, I thought. I bought four flower pots!  They had flower bulbs for $1.49 a package of five bulbs each; I bought the four packages shown above - one each of gladioli, Dutch iris, Harlequin, and Peacock Orchids.  I bought a small metal trellis ($1.49) for one of the potted plants I have that is sprawling all over the place.  I bought a potted plant (a croton); they had bare root roses, too, for $9.99 each, but, they looked quite dead, without any signs of new growth on them.

Then, I bought a new broom.  I bought some scrubby sponges and a handled brush for the kitchen.  I bought a queen-sized sheet set (flat sheet, fitted sheet, 4 pillowcases) for $9.99 (cheaper than what I paid for the previous set on clearance from a different store; I now have two new summer sheet sets, to replace the old summer set, bought some 10 years ago, which is starting to get threadbare).  I bought some hair ties for my daughter.  I bought a bag of cotton balls because I had only a few left in the container at home.  I bought the microwave popcorn I wanted, a bag of plums, an iceberg lettuce, a container of iced coffee drink, a bottle of sparkling apple cider (cheaper than at the grocery store) and some other snacks!

By the time we made it to the check out, I had a cart full of items I didn't know I needed, but, definitely wanted when I saw them!  LOL.  But, everything I bought will be used.  Some of the items will go back with my daughter; some of the snacks will be enjoyed while she's down here (we had some of the plums and shared one of the bags of microwaved popcorn this evening), and the rest will be used over the next several months.  The difference is, I bought the items in person rather than ordering them online.  

After we left the dollar store, we stopped by the subway sandwich store, next door!  I haven't had a subway sandwich in years!  Not since the pandemic, because it's not something I could order at a drive-through.  We each got a sandwich and we enjoyed that for a late lunch, with leftovers for dinner!  

I did a load of laundry in the evening, chatted a bit with my aunt, and relaxed.  Plans for tomorrow include doing another load of laundry, and trying on some of those clothes I received from my cousin.

On Saturday, I was grateful for:

- Rain for the garden
- Safe drives to the shops and back
- The availability of medications
- Spending time with my daughter
- Working appliances

Saturday's joyful activity was shopping!  LOL.

How was your Saturday?  What are your plans for Sunday?

Saturday, March 23, 2024

The End of the Week

Thai Food for Lunch (and leftovers for dinner)

On Friday, we ordered some take out from one of our favorite neighborhood Thai food places.  One really couldn't call it a restaurant.  It is a kitchen with a roofed patio area with some tables and chairs, but, it produces some of the best Thai food in town!  I've been getting food from this place for over 31 years and, while the prices have gone up, the food tastes as good as ever!  From left to right: beef fried rice (we requested they left out the tomatoes), chicken laab (spicy), beef salad (also spicy).  We enjoyed it for lunch and had leftovers for dinner and there are more leftovers for Saturday, as well.

You could say that we were celebrating the fact that daughter has extended her stay for another week, until Easter Sunday.  She will fly back on the Monday after that.  We are both very thankful that she is able to stay another week.

M was here in the evening and he had bought several bags of fertilizer for the fruit trees for me.  He applied the fertilizer to all the fruit trees and watered it in.  We are supposed to have rain over the weekend, but, as M said, putting water today will ensure that there will be rain over the weekend!  LOL.  I'm hoping that it will rain because the garden could do with another good soaking.

On Thursday, I kept my appointment with the tax preparer and filed my taxes.  I had to pay additional taxes which is never fun, but, I'm thankful that I had funds set aside for that (and the preparer's fees).  I'm glad that task is crossed off my to do list!  

Daughter and I had chicken curry sandwiches (made with the dinner rolls I got from the grocery store) for brunch.  For dinner, we had beef curry (from the freezer) with rice and cucumber salad.  

Birthday Card

I needed to make a quick birthday card, today.  The pattered paper is actually a piece of recycled packaging material that was at the bottom of a package of tea candles!  I had saved it to use for card making because I liked the pattern!

I am grateful for:
- My leg is continuing to heal
- Getting my taxes done and filed
- My daughter is able to extend her stay for another week
- M's help with the garden
- Card making supplies

Joyful activities have included crocheting, making a card, tending to the garden, and spending time with my daughter.

We are not making any special plans for the weekend.  I'll probably do some laundry and maybe do some baking.  There is some sewing I wanted to do for my daughter, which I couldn't do earlier due to needing to rest my leg; maybe I can do that this weekend.

How was your Friday and the end of the work week?  What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Back Garden in March

The Back Garden in March 2024

Are you ready for a stroll through the back garden on a sunny day in March with me?  This is the view from the back steps.  The cemented path that leads to the back on the left of the picture runs parallel to the garage.  We'll go around in a sort of anti-clockwise direction, shall we?  We are standing at 6 o'clock, where the back steps are located.

Immediately to the right of the back steps, is a little cemented area where I've placed the patio table (not pictured) and some potted plants, including:

Red Stemmed Lemon Grass

The potted aloe plants are also located in this area and they are starting to flower:


Aloe Vera Plant and Blurry Flower Stalk

"Little Blue" Has Sent Up a Flower Stalk, Too!
M is now saying it is a "lavender star" aloe
so, "Little Blue" might be a misnomer!

Not to be outdone, one of the red aloes has also
starting to send up a flower stalk!

And, if we peek around the corner from where the potted plants are located, we can see the wilderness that is the side yard!  Full of overgrown Euphorbia Tirucalli, some osteospermum, and a few weeds!

The Side Yard

Further down the garden, there's a carpet of white osteospermum under the orange tree:


We've picked most of the oranges, but, the orange flowers are starting to bloom:

Orange Blossom

Nearby, the peach tree flowers are mostly done blooming, but, baby peaches are forming:

Baby Peaches Forming

In the spaces between the fruit trees, there are more clumps of osteospermum:

More Osteospermum

And Hibiscus:

I've already shown the plum blossom, but, here's another look:

Plum Tree

The avocado tree I grew from a seed has not flowered at all, yet, and I've read that avocado plants grown from seeds don't always bear fruit, but, it is growing well and I'll let it grow just as another garden tree!

Avocado Tree

Nearby, the crocosmia are coming to the end of their flowering season:


But, just around the corner, the voodoo lily (Dracunculus vulgaris) is growing and seems to have formed two daughter plants, as well; I'm looking forward to seeing if it will flower, again, this summer.

Voodoo Lily

Towards the back of the garden, the nectarine tree has more flowers now:

Nectarine Flowers

And the loquat trees are coming along well:

One of the Two Loquat Trees

The area in the back, behind the garage and in front of the garden shed, is rather wild and overgrown with weeds after all the rain we've had; what we are looking at is a mixture of curry leaf tree and its suckers, the purple Martha Washington geranium (which is just getting flower buds), three agave plants that are hidden by the geranium and grasses, with more curry leaf plants and osteospermum in the foreground (there is a paved path leading to the shed in front of the geranium, but, behind the osteospermum):

Overgrown Area Behind the Garage

Coming back up to the back steps, we pass by the dogbane plant that is growing like crazy and starting to flower:

Dogbane Plant

There is a sweet potato plant under the dogbane, but, we (M and I) checked to see if there were any tubers to harvest and there weren't any,

Next to the dogbane plant, the self-sown phacelia are growing and starting to flower:


It's a type of wildflower and the bees love it!  

Another type of wildflower that is starting to bloom in the garden is the California poppy:

California Poppy

Nearby, the lemon plant that grew as a sucker, which I am allowing to grow, is getting flower buds for the very first time:

The First Flower Buds on the Newest Lemon Plant

Meanwhile, the parent lemon plant is full of flowers:

Lemon Blossoms

Closer to the house, by the side of the steps, the blueberry bushes seem to indicate that there will be blueberries later in the summer:

A Promise of Blueberries to Come

And, just at the base of the steps going back to the house, the sedum that M planted (and the other succulents he tucked in between the stones) seem to be thriving:

Sedum Plant

Hope you enjoyed this tour of the back garden in March!