Dogs, Fleas, Knees

Back in June, we noticed fleas covered both dogs. And the cat. And us whenever we worked outside for any appreciable time. Yuck. Fleas. It’s been a bad year for fleas.

We found a carpet spray and vacuumed like crazy. But when 11-year-old grandson came for a short visit, he spent a lot of time picking fleas up off the floor and putting them in baggies. Jim and grandson drowned the fleas in hot water. Double yuck.

After sending grandson home, we bombed the garage and two bedrooms. We tore the living room apart, washed and sprayed and vacuumed. We sprayed the yard, both front and back, for fleas. We took the dogs to the groomer, had Juno shaved, and had the groomer apply more Frontline.

Oh, did I forget to say we regularly applied Frontline?

We bought a flea comb for the cat. We set up a light at night and used the sticky backside of vinyl tiles to catch fleas. And boy howdy, did we catch ’em.

Jim brought home stories from the golf course of others with a similar flea problem.

And then…

Getting the dogs and cat ready for their annual pilgrimage to the vet, Juno tripped me. August 4, it was. I’d already overworked my knees trying to clear gardens for a fall planting. But now unable to put any weight on my left knee, I hightailed it to the urgent care. They suggested crutches and an orthopedic surgeon. He suggested an MRI and cortisone. After a month with cane and/or crutches, I ended up at physical therapy.

I can walk again, but have been repeatedly warned to stay off it. For more than a month. So no walking for me, probably through September. My gardens are a disaster. My pets have gone a little feral.

This wouldn’t have happened except for the dogs and the fleas. Right?

And now we are finding … moles …


April Fool

The joke’s on me! I had no time in March to write my second Blog. We had solar installed instead – quite the process. We’re still chasing pantry moths, though not as many. The exterminator I spoke with said, “It’s a process.” Indeed!

So what with one thing and another, I have had no time to Blog about the spring garden. And I’m not gardening because it turned cold – April Fools – and wet.

I’m out of excuses. Here are some of my favorite spring photos from the past week.

The sweet gum tree against the still-winter sky.

My three-year-old red bud. I was told it wouldn’t survive. It’s thriving!

Bleeding heart starting to bloom. A bit early.

Daffodils this week. Maybe tulips next if the sum comes out.

If the weather ever turns spring-like, I may Blog more. Happy April!

A Winter Experiment


I promised two Blogs a month and here it is, January 26, with only one under my belt. I’ve had plenty of ideas. Too bad for me, they’ve all been some kind of political commentary. Lucky for you, they have stayed firmly where they belong. In my mind.

January has been a warm but wet month. Not complaining about the wet. I haven’t had to haul hose yet this winter. The warm temperatures are a bit of a worry, though, with its threat of climate change. Will eastern Kansas move from Zone 6 to Zone 7? Maybe not quite yet. And as far as gardening news, I have none.

But while scrolling through Face Book one afternoon, reading all the political sturm und drang, I read about growing vegetables from veggies bought at the store. Celery in particular. I found a bit of old celery in the fridge. Since it was destined for the trash, I cut it as described in the article, plunked it into a glass of water, put it in a sunny window, and promptly forgot it.

“What’s this?” Jim asked a week or so later.

Yes, by golly, the durn thing grew. Little celery leaves poked up out of the center of the old stalk.

I looked. No roots, so I wondered if the roots were inside the stalk. Nothing loath, I planted the entire stalk in a four inch African Violet pot with some AV soil. And now comes the experiment.


How will I know success? When I have a bunch of celery I can eat. Honestly, I don’t think this method will ever replace going to the store and buying some. I don’t have room for hydroponics in my basement. But as an experiment into what works and what doesn’t, I’m curious. And open.

Which leads me to my amateur political punditry. We’re in the middle of a grand, disruptive experiment in our country. I was against it all the way, but I accept that it’s here. Like the celery, I don’t know whether this will be something we want to keep on doing once winter is done.

For me, I’ll know when I’ve had enough. I have a bottom line. People, not profits.

Those of you who follow me on Face Book know that I’ve been touting that mantra for the past few months. People, not profits. I’m hoping that our government has a heart for its people. If not, well, I hope the people know what to do next.

Onward to February!

After the Storm


The sweet gum tree reflected on the barn wall after a rain storm. Such a luxury to have the time to notice things like dancing shadows!


Looks like it will be another strange weather year. Too little, then too much rain. Too warm, then too cold. Wonder what that will mean in the garden.

I’m thinking of planting more sugar snap peas while it’s still cool.

A Woman’s Prerogative

Last July, I posted about Harvesting Herbs. Back then, I thought it would be cool to have a small herb garden near my kitchen (near the door to the deck, actually). I had a huge crop of herbs but as winter closed in, the herb garden became an odiferous tangle.

“What’s that smell?” Jim would ask. And I’d reply, “Oh, that’s patchouli.” Or, “Oh, that’s thyme, or the last of the rosemary, or I’m not quite sure…”

And when I say tangle, I mean it. Just clearing the annuals out of that plot took three days!

So this year, I changed my mind.


After clearing everything except the thyme, I planted two nine bark shrubs (Physocarpus) and an oak leaf hydrangea (Ruby Slipper). This year surrounded by nine geraniums, orange and white.

I decided to put down a weed preventer since I wasn’t eating out of this garden anymore. Amazing things to be learned from a pesticide label. The commercials on TV say “Just sprinkle.” Uh no. Not quite that easy. First, this weed preventer is toxic to humans and animals. Protective gear is in order. Sprinkle on TOP of the mulch when the plants are DRY and then water in immediately.

Who knew?

My message for this week is the same as last week’s – read your pesticide label! As for the changing garden design, well, that’s my womanly prerogative.

Meet n Greet

Gardening friends – if you haven’t seen Dream Big, Dream Often, check out the Meet and Greet. Great way to meet new Bloggers, read some terrific Blogs, and maybe get a boost for your Blog readership!

Dream Big, Dream Often

Ok so here are the rules:IMG_7051

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?
  6. Call the mayor of your hometown and have him pronounce this weekend as the official weekend of the “Dream Big Meet n Greet!”  This might take some persistence, but don’t you dare give…

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Spring Tour

Mostly photos for this Blog.

Decided to do more containers this year. Here are some African daisies (Osteospermum) and Easy wave petunias.


A container from Sullivan’s. For those who live around the KC Metro area, great place to shop on select Saturdays!


Supertunias silverberry. We’ll see how they do in containers.


Clematis – always a sure thing!!


One of the new ‘almost black’ sedums. I was certain it had died last fall, but here it is thriving!


Pink tulips year two. Color me happy!


Alium – also another tried and true returning plant. I always mean to buy more, then think I have too much in this garden!


Can you spot Fat Boy behind the climbing hydrangea? This is year two for the hydrangea and it’s really starting to climb. We’ll have to see whether it decides to flower…


And this is year two for strawberries. Looks like we’ll have lots. Yum!


The yard is starting to look like something! Stay tuned for more raised beds… coming soon!