Archive for March, 2008

Odd Transplants

I did something very odd Sunday afternoon. I’ve never done anything quite like this before and I was thinking I must be nuts doing it. But not only did I keep doing it, I started to enjoy it…

I transplanted my weeds.

What could have even crossed my mind to do something like that? Normally, I pull weeds with a vengeance so they can’t continue the gradual take-over of my yard.

There’s this area on a slope next to my mailbox where nothing much grows. I planted nice sod there over two years ago. Watered it, talked to it, fed it Miracle Grow, all that good stuff. Six months later, a lot of it was dying. In a year, it was all gone. Just a stubborn sprig or two remained.. along with more weeds but mostly just dirt.

I have these little weeds that look like some kind of succulent. Sorta related to portulaca or moss rose but much smaller leaves and tiny purple flowers. They seem to be able to grow anywhere and everywhere.  If I ever pull them, I have to put them in the garbage otherwise they start to grow again even if their roots are laying out in the summer sun.

I started pulling a few weeds in my front yard Sunday and came across a patch of these little guys. As I was pulling them and gathering a handful to throw away, it occurred to me that I could plant them in that bare spot. They don’t get tall and are nice and green with little purple flowers sprinkled through them.

So there I was, pulling them up and planting them in another place. I didn’t even water them in – I just figure they’ll either live or die. I still have a large supply to dig up and transplant if they don’t make it.  If they ever get to fill in that area, I’ll take a picture!

Posted on March 25th 2008 by admin

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Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

I woke up this morning determined to mow my yard. The winter weeds had started to get out of hand, the oak leaves were needed to be chopped up and the whole yard was just looking shaggy.

Plus, it was nice and cool this morning with a lot of clouds. I wouldn’t get too hot and because of the recent rain, it wouldn’t be dusty. In other words: it was the perfect day to mow.

I drug out my mower from the shed after months of being parked. It’s always a little hard to start it first time of the year and today was no different. I flooded it a few times and got myself all out of breath pulling that cord. So I took a break from it and trimmed up the tree and bush that were too close to the shed. Pulled some more.. nothing.. then it started to drizzle.

So I gave up on my good idea and put the mower away. I sat on the nice comfy chair on my back porch and watched it rain a little then stop. While sitting there I was trying to think of a way to get the mower started without killing myself.

Last year, the first day I mowed was downright chilly but sunny. I put the mower on the south side of the house where it warmed up in an hour. Just getting the whole mower a little warm, it started pretty easy. There was no sun today to help me so I needed another plan.

How was I going to get the mower warm?

I came up with the perfect girlie way… I don’t think a guy would ever think of this: my hair dryer.

A few minutes of me ‘blow drying’ my mower and boom, it started on the third pull with a puff of smoke and ran just fine. My yard is mowed and I didn’t give myself a heart attack trying to start it. Life is good.

Posted on March 22nd 2008 by admin

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My New Camera

I’ve been using the same SLR camera since 1978 – my trusty old Canon AE-1. I’ve taken TONS of great pictures with it. And it still works just fine.

I totally resisted going to digital cameras because of the lag time from when you pressed the shutter button to when it actually took the picture. But I caved in and bought a nice little Pentax camera back in Feb. 2003. I have to say I was bitten by the digital bug and how easy it was to send pictures.

I got a new totally cute Casio point and shoot for Christmas that I like a lot. It does nifty little movies I can send directly to YouTube. But I still missed the features on an SLR. My son has let me use his at family gatherings – I’m the photographer and he’s the videographer. I love using it.

I’d been saving my spare change for years to buy myself one. Just about the time I was ready last year, I got an unexpected bill about the same amount as my new camera. Rats.. so I started saving again. I also was saving the bonus points on my credit card. Last October I accumulated $500 in points so I cashed them in with the intent to get my new camera.

Then… one of my cats bit the other one giving her a huge abscess. After a $525 vet bill, I was again back to zero in my camera fund.

So I guess I have my mom to thank for the new camera that’s sitting on my desk right now. I got it yesterday. Because of her frugal lifestyle, there was cash to divide in her estate between us siblings.  I didn’t go hog wild buying the fancy-schmaniest camera because I’d never figure out how to use the features. I chose the new Nikon d60. Now I need to run to the store and get a memory card. When I think of all the money I spent on film and film developing, the memory cards are just plain cheap.

My new battery is charged and I’m ready to take more pictures – maybe of my cats!

Posted on March 20th 2008 by admin

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Gabba Gabba Hey

I was watching VH-1 Classic this past weekend. There was some movie that had the Ramones in it. It wasn’t really a very good movie but it kept my attention for a while because I’d never seen them perform before. I never had cable tv until about 10 years ago, so I never saw any music videos.

The part that I found the most amusing was that song ‘Pinhead’ where they hold up a sign with ‘Gabba Gabba Hey’ on it. Everybody chants it. I missed out on that in my younger days. I googled that and naturally found the video of the song on YouTube. What can’t you find on YouTube??

The gabba gabba hey reminds me of Fred Flintstone’s ‘yabba dabba do’.  I’m not planning to change my last name to Ramone any time soon, but I just might slip out with a gabba gabba every once in a while just because it’s fun to say.

Posted on March 19th 2008 by admin

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Infovore – Word of the Day

Infovore – I had to write about this before I forgot where I heard it. I saw it in an article in the WSJ this morning.

An infovore is a person who just can’t seem to get enough information – personally, I’m drowning in it. Dr. Irving Biederman, a neuro-scientist at the Univ. of S. Calif., gets credit for coining this word.

It seems humans are hard-wired to gather as much information as we can, even since cave man days. Think of how much more info there is to look at now than 10,000 years ago.  We get a kind of opioid hit of pleasure to our brains by devouring information on subjects we’re interested in. It makes us junkies and go back for more.

I know I’ve killed lots of time in that past 15 years surfing the web – even when it was a much smaller place. Plus I’m addicted to cutting articles out of the newspaper and stacking them up. As soon as my counter space gets too cluttered with them, I throw them into a pile in a cabinet and start over. As least I’m not saving the entire paper!

Someday perhaps we’ll be able to sort out what’s important and what’s not. But until we read the article, how will we know?

Posted on March 12th 2008 by admin

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My Little Backyard Wildlife Preserve

A couple of years ago I applied to be a ‘Certified WildLife Habitat’ from the National Wildlife Federation. I live in a densely populated area but I do have a nice sized lot with HUGE trees. Over the years I’ve lived here I’ve put out lots of food and water to attract critters.

My cats really appreciate it. When I open my french doors and just have the screen door, they go nuts. The critters are used to people and cats looking at them and usually just go about their business about 6′ away on the deck. I find that quite fascinating because with just the screen, we’re all very clearly seen. The cats make all those funny squeaky noises too. One day not too long ago I had sparrows, cardinals, woodpeckers, blue jays, painted buntings, titmouses, red-winged blackbirds, Carolina wrens, mourning doves, ringnecked doves and squirrels all munching away.

The robins made their yearly appearance a couple of weeks ago and hung out in my backyard for a day or two. They had a really good time in the birdbaths. I used to get hundreds of them in the pastures back when I had horses. They stayed a little longer then and fattened up on juicy bugs.

I try to discourage rats, possums and bunnies. The bunnies are cute but they eat my aloe plants to the ground, so they’re not allowed in the backyard anymore. Possums, they’re just plain yuck! One lone rat was cute last winter, but he invited his extended family and had to be relocated.

I just put out a piece of stale bread. That sets off another feeding frenzy. I think I put out more food than needed sometimes because the squirrels plant sunflowers all over the place for me. They planted bits of bread today too. Wouldn’t that be nice if I could grow a bread tree?

Posted on March 6th 2008 by admin

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Windshield Wipers

Why can’t someone invent windshield wipers that last longer than 6 months? I don’t care what they say on the packaging, they just don’t work well unless I replace mine constantly. They guys at the parts store tell me it doesn’t matter which kind I buy, they all have about the same lifespan.

I had to drive an hour and a half to an account yesterday. It wasn’t raining hard but it rained most of the way. My wipers had been ok but picked yesterday to completely conk out. I could barely see because all they did was smear the rain. It was the longest, most nerve-wracking drive I ever made.

Thinking ahead, I left early. Then there just happened to be an Auto Zone across the street from where I had to be. I bought a new pair and sweetly asked the clerk if he’d put them on for me. I can do it, but it takes me forever to figure it out. I knew I’d never be able to drive home in the dusk hour if it was raining at all. I could barely see in the daylight.

Years ago I bought a really expensive set of new blades thinking I’d have it made for quite a while. They didn’t last either. So now I just go with the $7 ones. I should be good to go through the summer now.

Posted on March 6th 2008 by admin

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Living My Dream

Eight years ago I had no idea what I was going to do with myself. I was separated after a million years of being married and my only skills were with horses and volunteering. Since I had recently tore up my shoulder, anything to do with horses was out of the question. I couldn’t even touch my fingers on my left hand to my right shoulder.

.. and I was scared.

But I muddled on and realized I’d have to do something with my insurance license that I’d had for some years and never did anything with. My ex just used to run business through my name every once in a while so I’d have social security credits.  I never thought I was going to grow up to be an insurance agent – horse trainer suited me much better. But no one was impressed with my resume even though I’d raised several world champion Quarter Horses and Paints. I guess the average person has no idea how hard that is to do.

Biting the bullet, I worked with my ex for a couple of years because he had business savvy and experience. He likes to think he was doing me a favor (and told me that often), but since we split commissions, he was working just like I was. Eventually he drove me completely nuts and I just went on my own.

For about four years, everything was fine. Then my regional and state managers decided to play dirty. At first, that upset me to no end. I didn’t understand why they’d do that to me. I still don’t understand, but I’m glad they did because it only inspired me to work harder at other ‘stuff’. I heard someone say one time, “Never fall in love with your product.” How true. If you know how to sell, you can sell anything.

I jumped into my new business with both feet in 2007. Not a great year for me because of my mom’s health and her dependence on me. But I had confidence that I could succeed, much like I did with insurance.

I set myself a goal to attain by April 2008. I exceeded it this past month by 50% – almost hit it by the end of Jan. One good month doesn’t make a career, but it’s a great start considering my income was $0 this time last year. I’m living my dream right now. Like Dr. Dyer said to me (from my tv) “It’s on it’s way.”

Posted on March 3rd 2008 by admin

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