Ramblings of a Flower Addict

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

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The dreaded "S" word...

The season is here again for daily (and sometimes hourly) monitoring of the forecast. Today the dreaded "Supercell" word appeared. Who knew I would become almost unreasonable about the weather? I say almost, because I do know people (names have not been changed to protect the innocent) Jessica...that really do go into panic mode. I think I remain quite reasonable. Of course I insist on heading for the storm shelter as soon as the warning signal sounds, but once all 6 of us are in there, I do fine. Obviously no talking is allowed while in the storm shelter. I must be able to hear the storm. ;) And of course we must ready the shelter with candles, blankets and pillows hours before the storm is expected to hit (one can't be too careful) Besides these fundamentally sound precautions, I proceed to the storm shelter in a calm orderly manner and will only pick up a dog and toss it down to the waiting Duane if there is absolutely no other option. :)

Now in Jessica's defense...she lives in the SW area of Springfield that seems to be a magnet for tornados. She shared an extremely entertaining story of the tornado last year that I must pass along. (it was entertaining because I was not there)

So Jess and Billy are driving back from Joplin and confident that they have outrun the storm. So they call in an order for a pizza from their cell phone.
No sooner do they arrive in Springfield, but the warning signal sounds. Now Jess and Billy don't have a basement, but they do have a crawl space under the house. They also have a 100+ lb rottweiller. As any of you animal lovers know, you can't seek shelter without the pets. So under the house the 3 of them go.

After a seemingly endless amount of time, the sirens went off and Jess and Billy proceeded to extract themselves and Cain from under the house.

As they stood in the street with the rest of the block looking at all of the damage, around the corner comes a little Geo Metro with a Papa John's sign on top. The terrified driver jumps out of the car and with pizza raised high above his head shouts "where is 1112?"

It turns out that this 16yr old delivery driver turned down their street to see a tornado coming right at him. He does a quick u-turn and gets out of there. But only just... he still had a pizza to deliver!

Jess offered him a $20 tip (which he refused) and then called the manager the next day to tell of this inspiring pizza delivery. Pizza delivery drivers all over the world now have this standard to live up to. :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Looking forward to cleaning???

I get to go out tomorrow to start cleaning and painting at our new house and I am all kinds of excited! Just to get to spend some time there will be wonderful even if it is spent cleaning and painting!

I know that as soon as we move out there, the majority of my time will be spent outdoors so I won't get much painting done. Might as well work on that part now since I can't move until we close. I have given some thought to the landscaping that I will do, but most of my thoughts have been about building fence and getting horses.

Duane thought my animal collection was considerable now, wait until I have 10 acres to fill!

More to come.....

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Realization of a Dream

I have not posted for a while because we have been in the process of buying a farm and selling our house. I was almost afraid to say anything to anyone in case it didn't work out, but all is well and here are the specs.

We have a contract on a house with 10 acres in the Walnut Grove area and we found out tonight that our house has definately sold. We will sign a contract on it tomorrow and can then set closing dates on both.

Having my own farm has been my lifelong dream. My dad bought my first pony when I was not quite 3 and I have been hooked since. Until I met Duane, my life had been spent pretty much going wherever the horses were. Up to now, I have owned approx 42 of my own and have ridden hundreds, but for the last 3 years, the closest I have come was to pull in the garage every day to see my saddle hanging there.

The first time I saw our new farm I said "this is the one." I knew right then that was where I wanted to be and started packing as soon as I got home. I drove around the countryside and looked at many more, but ended up right back at our little 10 acre patch.

It is not a mansion, but it couldn't be more perfect if I had created it myself. Each detail is as I would have it and I can already envision the horses standing lazily under the shade tree, swishing their tails at flies and emitting that sweet earthy scent that only a horse has.

I live a blessed life and I hope to spend the next 50 years sitting on our back deck looking out at our cherished 10 acres remembering all of the years spent in our little piece of heaven.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Co-Contributors...maybe not such a good idea

I have decided this morning that I am not all that keen on Duane being able to contribute to my blog. You see, when I post a story, I can make it sound like a funny but not alltogether believable jest. Then Duane has to add his version of the story (complete with pictures I might add). :)

At least I had a really good laugh first thing on a Saturday morning. Pretty good way to start the day!

Examples of previously mentioned OCD

April 23, 2004 and we're well into the spring season when an unexpected frost is forecasted. After planting some 1000+ plants and bulbs what can we do but make a circus of our yard to protect the fledgling plants. That's a giant tarp covering the front bed and a blanket around the base of the big oak tree.Here we've got a piece of material covering the newly planted rose bush, climatis, some hostas, and some tulips among other things.
These little hand warmers were strategically distributed throughout the covered areas near sensitive or expensive plants along with strands of Christmas lights to keep it all warm.

Yes the neighbors think we're crazy. I'm glad to hear we won't be repeating this feat this year.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Forget the hair, give me a blanket

Being the avid noaa forcast observer that I am, I looked ahead in the forecast to Monday night....and snow. What? Last weekend I, my 4 dismayed dogs and one ticked off hubby spent the biggest majority of the night in the storm shelter. Now we are going to get snow? All winter long I jumped eagerly out of bed in the hope that maybe, just maybe, it had snowed during the night. Now, when my hostas are 4 inches tall, it is going to drop down into the 20's at night.

Last season we had quite the fiasco covering all of my precious plants each night that there was a forecast for cold weather. This year? Not doing it. Sorry guys, you are on your own. Send all complaints directly to Mother Nature, because the plant guardian just resigned.

I can only assume that this is a lesson in control. Namely, you...don't....have...it.

Again, much as I forget that those "cute" damn squirrels are going to dig up my garden, I also forget that the days will be warm, the plants will grow, the nights will then get cold.....

I wonder how many gardeners seek therapy, have been diagnosed with obsessive/compulsive disorder, and if there really is a group called plantaholics anonymous. You guffaw, but I can tell you first hand the symptoms of a plant purchasing binge. The shame, the feeling of losing control, the continuous thoughts of "just one more and I will quit." The plants purchased that you don't even have a place for! Of course you can't admit that they aren't part of the existing plan. Rule #1 is to maintain a calm demeaner and straight face as you tell your spouse that you will have to refer to your "diagram" to remember exactly where this plant will go, but that you are sure it was on your list of those to purchase (and that this price is at least several dollars less than the last place you looked).

Unfortunately my kind and generous spouse has heard the lines enough to know that I am making things up and much as he does when there are "free" puppies, he takes me by the hand (almost dragging me along) and begins (somewhat desperately) a new conversation on a completely unrelated topic.
This rarely distracts me I might add, but the shame of knowing that I have been figured out is usually enough to get past that particular plant display. :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Duane at the barber shop

So...when I met Duane, one of the first things I noticed was a bottle of "Big Sexy Hair" product in his bathroom. Being the direct personality that I am, I asked him about it. Come to find out, he had gone to a salon for a hair cut and the guy/stylist had talked him into the purchase. I'm relieved... I figure that is a pretty good alibi. Then I find out that after a couple of hair cuts the guy calls Duane at home and asks him for a ride somewhere (Duane plead a pressing engagement). Hence Duane's resolve to stick to a "good old fashioned barber."
Now I can certainly understand his fear of a salon, I've had a round with a really, really fruity stylist myself (tried to give me Samba lessons while I was in the chair, dyed my hair blond (I am naturally a very dark brunette) and decided he should give me some free massage therapy...if I would take off as many items of clothing as I was comfortable with...that would be no items removed! So as I said...I certainly understand living in fear of the hair salon, however I understand that you must conquer your fear. Go out and find a salon that is not scary...

My problem with the barber is that not only can you not make an appt (every time he goes he is gone for hours! And he does not have that much hair!), but the old men sit around and BS. That BSing included a warning to Duane before we got married that he was making a mistake as well as much good natured jesting about the honey do list.

There is a point to this story....
I received a comment on my last post that said I should spread human hair around the garden areas where the squirrels cause problems. Being the instigator that I am...I thought...I should just send Duane to the barber shop with some ziploc baggies for hair and coffee grounds. Let the oldies chew on that for a while!
Can you just imagine the conversation after he left? It makes me giggle just thinking about it!

Friday, March 03, 2006

$*(#*%@_%(@# Squirrels!!!

The weather has been beautiful and I have been busy. I am replanting the front beds to make them lower maintenance and am finally going to plant around the base of the big oak tree. Of course all of the planting requires prep work...so I went to the Springfield Recycling Center yesterday for a load of compost. Duane rode his bike to work yesterday so I had the whole day to use his truck. One pickup bed full of compost and some sore muscles later, I felt pretty good about my progress. Where once was faded mulch from last year, there was dark, rich "black gold" as they call it. I left the soaker hose on for the day and planned to go for a load of mulch on Saturday.

When I got home from work tonight, there were little holes dug in my compost. All up and down the front beds....holes.

I have tried pantyhose with perfume. I have tried cayenne pepper. I've tried the garden granuals. I used to like squirrels. Fuzzy little things with such cute antics. Now I detest the damn things.

The most frustrating part of the whole thing is that I had forgotten! Every year as I plan my garden, Spend hours and hours pouring over the catalogs and wandering through greenhouses, Spending every last penny that I can horde for my purpose.... and I forget that as soon as I plant a prize specimen, or put down a perfectly combed layer of mulch, those little @$*(%$*#$'s are going to dig it all up. HOLES ALL OVER MY GARDEN!

So the moral of this story is...if anyone has any tips for ridding the garden of squirrels, I would be most appreciative. :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Had a very good day yesterday. It was our 3rd wedding anniversary and we couldn't have asked for better weather. I am always off work on Wednesdays, but Duane took the day off too so that we could spend it together. I had begun to wonder if he had forgotten since he hadn't said a word about it. Then Tuesday night he told me he had taken the next day off so we could go to Dogwood Canyon.
Being the nature buff that I am, I had wanted to go for a long time but we just hadn't gotten around to it. Well we went. And it was beautiful!

We took the scenic route (60 Hwy) and mosied our way down there. We stopped for lunch at the Gateway Cafe (on 60 South of Highlandville). It is another of the good ol' Home Cookin' restaurants that are obsolite now in Springfield. We had another finger lickin' lunch and I commented to Duane that it was pretty funny that celebrating our anniversary included going to lunch in the "sticks".

Dogwood Canyon had limited activites this time of year, but the walking tour that we chose was very nice. As expected we took lots of pictures. Duane with his powershot already has the pics uploaded but since I have old fashioned film, I still have the roll to develop.

After Memorial day, they offer kayaking and horseback riding. Back when I rode everyday I wasn't impressed with trail riding, but now that I am horseless, I'll take what I can get. We just have to make sure that we can get a "fully automatic" for Duane.

After our walk (which was pretty warm due to dress suited more for weather in the 60's than the 80's) we headed back towards Springfield with a stop at Candyland Ranch. Mick and Judy Workman have been like parents to me since I moved to the Ozarks and it was wonderful to see them again. As often happens, time gets away and I hadn't seen them in a couple of years. They gave us the tour and we got to see their crop of up and coming champions. For those who don't know, they raise miniature horses. These however, are not what you would think. You are probably picturing a fuzzy little round thing, but image a beautifully conformed Arabian...only much, much smaller. Several of their horses are in the mini hall of fame and they have more awards/trophy's than you can count. They pretty much set the standard for minis, and owners and trainers from all over come to try to purchase one of the few that they sell each year. Of course the cream of the crop is raised and then shown by them.

We helped feed and them came home to feed our crew. Then we finished off the evening with Sushi at Sakura. Food was excellent as always (after the extremely annoying party behind us left). Oh and then we had Culver's ice cream. (So much for the eternal diet)

All in all and wonderful day spend with my wonderful honey celebrating an event that I would do over and over again. How's that for a Wednesday?