Ramblings of a Flower Addict

A blog for one who should, in theory, not have a blog.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Can you please just mind your own business?

The pet saga continues, and I am beyond tired of it. In addition to the crazy stick lady I have posted about, we also have a nightmare neighbor. I guess that really isn't a good name for her since nightmare implies sleep, and we frequently don't get much of that due to her.
She used to be a good neighbor. She said she was an animal lover and even brought a kitten to me that she had found to be nursed back to health. I helped her with the kitten and we would chat over the fence. She even made us cookies once and I made a pot of beef and noodles for her sick kid. That was then.

In the last six months, she has gotten a new boyfriend and everything else has gone to pot. The two may or may not be related...who knows. All I know is that she has sent her two kids to live with their dad and she comes and goes at all hours. That in itself is none of my business and I really could care less. What I do care about, is that she often leaves her dog outside all night now. This was previously an indoor only dog and is now an indoor when convenient dog. This means that the dog does not have a sufficient winter coat and that he is mighty unhappy about being left outside. Hence the sleepless nights. The dog... barks... ALL... NIGHT.

We have tried talking to her (first Mr. courteous talked to her and when that didn't work I went over there and basically told her she was going to have to do something about her dog because it was keeping us up all night) Needless to say, this did not work.

Now you may be wondering about our dogs. We have 4 after all and we can't possibly keep them from barking all of the time. You are correct. However, after 9pm our dogs are asleep on various beds (theirs, not ours) in our bedroom. I am a very light sleeper and wake up each time one of them gets up. As they are very contented ie lazy, this is a rare occurance. They are pretty content to spend the night on their temperputic beds. (Who wouldn't be?)

Back up to the beginning of last summer when the problem began. I'm sure you can tell by my blog that I put a lot of time and money into my gardens. Well, the kitty that I helped rescue is now an adult tom and has been joined by another cat. Again, both were initially indoor only, but as convenience allows...well, you can see where this is going.

We will just say that apparently compost and mulch are incredibly appealing as a litter box. Not only that, but these demon cats would get in our back yard (they would have to be demons to get in a yard with 300+ lbs of dogs) and would crawl under our shed. The dogs would smell the cats under the shed and mass chaos would ensue. This would result in the surrounding flower beds being destroyed.
Now I try to be a considerate pet owner. I am on constant poo duty, scold them when they bark at people, keep them inside at night and above all, keep them contained to our yard unless on a leash. No exceptions. I just ask that other people do the same.
This neighbor from hell apparently thinks that courtesy is for other people.

To top it all off, her kids (now 16ish and 12ish) come to visit and bring their attitude with them. The 16 yr old boy has a set of toy guns that shoot little orange pellets...you guessed it. I have found them all over my yard. What really makes me fume is that today all of the dogs were outside with me and when the neighbors kid came outside, Dobie was terrified! He was crying, trying to hide behind anything he could find and got so scared that he had an accident. He has never done this before and I am beyond angry.

The last time the dog kept us awake all night, I told Duane that I was going to put a note on her door that said "The next time your dog wakes us up at night, I am going to call your landlord and wake him up." Seems fair to me when nothing else will get her attention. But how do I handle the situation with Dobie? I can't very well shoot things at her or her kids when they are in the yard.....unfortunately. ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Spring fever

These are a few of Jennifer's favorite flowers from last season... She must be getting spring-fever as she's wearing the covers off her flower catalogs.

Here's her Chromatella Water Lilly in our water garden. It's a hardy variety that requires full sun. Very easy to grow.
Chromatella Water Lilly

Jennifer can't remember the name of this orange lilly. It came from a friend's garden and was a surprise addition to ours.
Orange Lilly

Nothing special about this tulip, we just liked the shot.

This is a Monsella Tulip. This flower has huge blooms almost like Peony. It blooms very early and they last for weeks.
Monsella Tulip

Hilltop Garden and Ash Grove

Hilltop Garden TourJennifer and I visited Hilltop Garden in Ash Grove, MO today for their open house. The owners were giving tours of greenhouses that normally aren't open to the public. Pictured at left is Oscar showing us the "Hot House." The tour was very interesting, we got to see the behind the scenes of the ornamental horticulture industry, and Oscar was willing to answer any questions we could come up with.

Some of the interesting tidbits that we heard or learned included about how much money it costs to keep the tropical greenhouse warm (about a gallon of propane a year per square foot) and how they have such an impressive showing of hostas later in the year (they have 8000 hostas "sleeping" under plastic in a field).

Jennifer in her natural habitat

I got the shot above of Jennifer striking up a conversation with another Hilltop customer. The conversation turned to Elephant Ears and Jennifer commented to the lady on the left that we always just leave the elephant ears in the ground and cover them for the winter and they're fine. We overheard her commenting to her husband that she really didn't appreciate Jennifer's input... some people.

After the excitement of the tour we drove on in to Ash Grove. We stopped at a service station and used the facilities. Jennifer was tickled with the small town atmosphere (funny since we're both from small towns). The mechanic in the service station gave us directions to a local cafe for lunch as he rocked back in forth in a rocking chair.

We took him up on his recommendation and ate at the Trails End Cafe. Some things are just better in small towns, and a home-cooked meal is one of them. Jennifer dined on "probably the best" pork tenderloin sandwich she's ever had. I indulged in the open-face roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy and it was delicious.

We drove around the area a bit more and decided that we liked little Ash Grove. It wasn't a great day for picture taking but the old downtown area had some interesting buildings. We'll go back another time and explore some more.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Duane just pointed out that comment moderation was on and I was not checking it. All this time I thought no one was reading my blog!

We have removed the moderation so I will now respond! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tagged Daddblastit!

I've been tagged. I don't know why he does this. I tell him nobody reads my blog. Anyone that knows me is amazed that I know what a blog is. Regardless...here we go...

Four jobs I've had
This could be lengthy. Good thing there is a limit.

1.Wheat truck driver/farm hand(first job when I was 14. I had to sit on a pillow and put one behind my back so I could reach the clutch. Things are done a little differently in Kansas)

2. Barn Manager/horse trainer(countless barns from Vermont to Texas)

3. Owner, Home decor and gift shop

4. Vet tech

Four Movies I could watch over and over
This is very difficult as I watch very little TV. I didn't even own one when I met Duane and was fine with that.

1. Last of the Dogmen (old movie about a lost tribe of indians)

Ummm...got nothin else...sorry

Four places I've lived

1. Stafford, KS

2. Manchester Center, VT

3. Gainsville, TX

4. Springfield, MO

Four TV Shows that I Love
I know I'm a strange one, but I really hate TV. If Duane weren't such a fan, we wouldn't have one.

Four places I've vacationed

1. Cape Cod (went to the New England Aquarium in Boston and then went out on the cape on a whale watch. Absolutly the best vacation of my life)

2. Disney World

3. Monterrey Mexico

4. Eureka Springs (still a favorite)

Four of my favorite dishes
This is tough. I love food and will have a hard time picking just 4 favorites

1. Siam beef, Salmon in duck sauce from Tong's

2. Grilled tuna salad from Sparky's in Eureka Springs

3. Duane's stuffed eggplant rolls (these are incredible)

4. Sushi, sushi, sushi!

Four sites I visit daily
This one will make you laugh!

1. National Weather Service

2. Minutia

Check my email and my computer time is done! :)

Four places I'd rather be right now

1. in my garden on our farm (which we don't own yet, have never seen, but I have visualized)

2. In the Portland Oregan area (they have mild weather so incredible gardens. I'm dying to go)

3. Arizona, New Mexico area (I have never been and would like to see it)

4. See #1

Four books I love
Now we are in familiar territory!

1. The Mists of Avalon

2. I & Dog the monks of new skeet

3. The Complete Garden Flower Book

4. 12 Months of Monastary soups (this was the first gift Duane gave me. I think it was a hint)

Wuthering Heights, Gone with the Wind, Belladonna, my favorite asian cookbook, All Creatures Great and Small, Encyclopedia of World Religions, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Other Bolelyn Girl, The Mistral's Daughter, Horse Heaven, Dead Sleep, Eleventh Hour, The living art of Bonsai, etc

Four Video Games I could play over and over
I have never played a video game and just don't see the appeal. Not that I don't think other people should do it, I would just rather do something productive

I am electing to add a category. I think you can learn much from a person's musical tasts, so how about Four Favorite Albums/Artists?

1. Maroon 5

2. Diana Krall

3. Coldplay

4. various classical albums

Four people I am tagging
I shall have to pass on this one as I don't know 4 more people with blogs! Sad isn't it. :)