Sunday, November 14, 2010

Living a life of Thankfulness

Have you every whined about something you lack and caught yourself short and asked "what am I saying?!  We all have so much to be greateful for but often do not take the time to give thanks for what we have, Instead, we gripe about what is missing.

I am reminded of an approaching Thanksgiving two years ago when we were blessed with a gift we never thought we'd have and every day in every way, I am ever so grateful for her.

If youd like to work on your better self, you have got to get this book, God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours by Regina Brett. I just read it and have come away transformed. I will be sending out her lessons here and there for those who I think will enjoy them. Get it and read it and LIVE it

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Natural Healing Springs From the Landscape

Fall is a time of re-connecting with the earth and seeing a sense of balance come back to our lives.The landscape gets stripped down to the essentials while the plants prepare to sleep their renewing sleep. Digging in their roots a little deeper and farther, prepping for the coming year. The leaves drift downward and the wind swirls them into nooks and crannies here and there to decorate the winter with their subdued golds and reds. I love the colors of fall. So soothing.......If only the X#6@ leaves didn't fall into my pond and clog up the pump!!

I was hoping we wouldnt have to cover the pond this year, but after the nth time cleaning the skimmer net today, I gave in and covered the darn thing. Now we will look at the canvas tarp covering the pond for a few weeks. ugh. I keep thinking I will take that tree down and every year, I let it go. not to mention the leaves clog up the channels in the roof and we have to clean them out before ( and during ) every rain. Glad I have a good rain jacket! but on the plus side, it IS invigorating going from the freezing rain to the toasty fireplace-warmed family room. I think people pay good money at health spas to do that. Hmmm and I get it for free!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gardening takes a toll on your feet

Whenever I am working out in the garden, I just go.  I dont think about me, I am busy pruning, weeding, planting or totally engrossed in what I am doing at the moment.  I sometimes loose track of time, I'm so involved in what I am doing. Its when I get home and I sit down to relax, I realize how much I hurt.

Part of it is that I'm not getting any younger and I am using all sorts of muscles lifting, bending, digging, etc. One thing I learned early on is to take care of my feet. If your feet hurt, you cant seem to dredge up enough enthusiasim to keep going or even get started for that reason.

One of the best things I do for my feet is to buy quality boots and terrific socks.  The socks I buy arent cheap, about $20 but they do wonders for my feet which means the difference between gettin the job done and having some life at then end of the job!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Check your Grape plants

Getting a few calls about buggy grape plants.  The little bugs fly around the grape leaves and leave red or brown spots all over the leaves and a kind of sticky honeydew. the leaves take a yellow cast and then dead brown spots all over. Ugly annoying and downright yucky!  If populations are small, just wash off the leaves and you might be able to keep their populations down enough. If not, its time to spray.
Keep in mind the best control is to clean up weeds and plant litter under the vines so the little guys dont overwinter and start all over again in spring

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The elusive dream... a good nights sleep.

I dont know about you, but working in the garden tires me out! Some days, I just drag in the door and look incredulously at my darling husband when he, for some reason wants to have a nice dinner. Not dinner out or take out, but a real dinner cooked by me. I'm already cooked by the end of the day! some days, gardening uses muscles I didn't realize I had.

Even so, when I can finally drop my head onto the pillow, sleep does not necessarily follow, even exhaused as I am.  Even worse, is when I wake up several times in the night wondering what else I need to do or didn't do that I should have or will tomorrow.  As I get older, this sleep thing comes harder. I think that I dont function as well as I could when I don't get enough sleep.

I have tried lots of methods to induce a sound sleep, but they all seem to fail. I was thinking about going to a sleep clinic, but so expensive and time consuming. So I was really excited to  learn of a new device that allows you to track your own sleep patterns and daily habits and how they correlate, so you can improve your quality of sleep. This new device is available at Amazon. Its called a  Zeo Personal Sleep Coach

It is a little wireless device that has a headband you wear to bed that tracks your sleep patterns. they also have an online program that helps you intrepret the information and make lifestyle changes that will improve your sleep. Amazon has a neat video on how this thing works. You should check it out if you or anyone you know has any sleep issues. I have ordered it and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I will let you know how it works for me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Has Edison Got a Secret Agenda?

Got our electric bill last friday.  I wasnt looking forward to the bill, because it has been so humid lately that we have been running the air conditioner in both the house and office. I was shocked when I saw the bill. It was at least half of last months bill!

Hmmm... the game is afoot!  I went out and read our meter and of course, the reading they billed for was off, by at least 1,000!! so I called up Edison and demanded they bill me more.

Crazy you ask? Not so much.  See with the tiered rates, If I waited until they catch up the bill next month, I will be paying for those units at a much higher rate. The lady at Edison said I was one in a million.

Talking with my neighbor, THEIR electric bill was lots cheaper too! Now either we have a really stupid meter reader, or... perhaps this is a plot by Edison to get more money for the same electricity?

I'm thinking it is a conspiracy. No meter reader can be that stupid to get the readings at two houses right next door to each other wrong on the same day.What do you think? Do you have a low electric bill lately

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Confessions from the soul

Hi. My name is Cindy.      I'm a bookaholic.

I love every chrisp page as I turn each one. I linger over every book jacket. The typefaces and cover art thrill me.

I ve always known I've had a problem. Sometimes as a child, when reading, I would ignore all others around me. Even when they were offering food! It started with Nancy Drew... Just a little story now and then. Soon, I graduated to Where the Red Fern Grows  and then  To Kill a Mockinbird .

Now it is just Hard core. I sneak into the bathroom 6 times a day just to read a paragraph or two! People are thinking something is wrong with me. And they are right!

I knew I had a problem when I resorted to reading the book of the day at long stop lights while driving. I love everything about books. I cant decide if my favorite is Go Dog Go or the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

Somebody please help me. Is there a cure for the love of libris? Do I want to be cured?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The secret life of cactus

I really love most plants. There are a few exceptions, but that will remain for another post. And I do love cactus. They are quite remarkable plants, little water storage units really. Their spines are there to shade the cactus and protect them from water loving desert dwellers.

I have the privlidge of helping some of my clients care for their gardens. One home today has lots of cactus. Unfortunately, the drip tubing was chewed in half by a sneaky little rabbit and I had to repair it. I had to lay on my stomach and dig under the cactus to get to the tubing to repair it.  I am now (still) literally covered with the fine little spines of the cactus. Sigh... I am loving the cactus today  but not so much!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Real Secret to Creating a Low-Maintenance Landscape

Low-Maintenance. Nobody ever asks for a landscape that takes a lot of time to maintain. So when someone says that they want a low maintenance landscape, I’m thinking… well, yeah. Very few people in this world do not care how long or how much it takes to care for their landscape. If they don’t, then they can, and do usually afford to have someone do it for them.

That’s not most of us. The real key to getting a low maintenance (or Easy-Care as I call it) landscape is all in the planning. At that stage, you will know how much time and money you want to invest in the care of your new landscape. Right then, BOOM! is where most landscapes are successful or not.

You gotta understand plants to landscape properly. One plant might work just great for your neighbor, but be soooo not right for you. Or not right for THAT place in your yard. ONLY if you know your client, plants, climate, and location can you select the right landscaping. And if you have the wrong plants in the wrong places matched with the wrong maintenance skills or budget, you, my friend have just wasted your money on landscaping. It’s as simple as that!

Picture a cute little evergreen bought at the nursery 2 feet high by 1 ft wide. Plant 20 of those suckers 1 foot away from the front sidewalk in a row every 5 feet. Cute when planted. However, did I mention that those little cuties are arborvitae? Now when you know that, you know that they will reach 10 feet wide and 15 feet tall within 10 years, they don’t look so cute. When you know that they could ultimately reach 30 feet wide and 45 feet tall. They are downright monsters. Think of trying to make them stay small and all the effort that will go into that for the first few years and the time an expense that it will take to take them out when they get too big. That is the big secret… Plant only what works for the space both now and ultimately

I just want to hide inside..

The heat is opressive. I make my living outdoors every day, but I'm not a fan of the heat. As the saying can only take so much off.  The humidity was terrible yesterday, and we had to turn on the air conditioner for the first time this year.  The water cooler wasnt doing it. We had a tremendous thunder shower last evening. In just over half an hour we got nearly an inch of rain! I was content to watch from inside. The plants at least got some advantage.

I really need to dig up and divide my iris. I have too many and plan to ditch some and gift some. Now is the time, but I have too much to do this weekend. I am bustling about making sure everything gets plenty of water here, checking the sprinklers and drip for "issues". I only found a few problems of clogged heads and some emitters that had gone cattywampus and had to be adjusted.

I am getting ready to head to the Home Improvement Expo at the Victorville fairgrounds this weekend.There were so many businesses there setting up today. It looks like it will be a big hit to have a July show. I saw several vendors that I have not seen at the show before. Looks like an intersting weekend.

I WAS looking forward to relaxing this weekend with a good book my hubby bought me. He said I havent read anything fun lately and got me The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo. I have just barely started it. It will have to wait til next week as the Home Show will take center stage this weekend. Come by and see me.