Potting the cuttings....

I did find some great containers  for my succulent cuttings from Susie Wolfe  and I did get a drill bit so I could put drainage holes in those that needed it. The diamond bit worked like a charm.  I got the set at Amazon and they were only $15 for the whole set.  I can see I will be using them a lot.

I'm sticking to blue and white and terra cotta. 
Trying  also to keep in mind how I will get them through  the winter as well   This is all new to me..

I have some smaller pots for cuttings.  This plant life  is just what my tiny porch needed.  I had tried putting pots of petunias one year and pots of geraniums other years but it is a south facing and those pots just dried up and died.

I also planted a larger low one that I can use as a centerpiece when needed.  All the cuttings survived and most have started to root.  Two even have flowered.  I just love them.  On the right in this photo is a solar powered fountain for the hummers.  Actually it just sort of bubbles and I haven't seen a hummingbird near it but I read that the sound of water attracts them...  I can't hear it bubble but maybe they can.

A pleasant discovery was this bale cart languishing in the barn could be used for bins.  I use these 18 gallon bins all the time in the garden and usually either pull them by their handle which eventually breaks or put them on my wagon.  They fit perfectly in this cart and now are so much easier to move about.  The bale cart has been sitting unused all these years since I sold the sheep and I had been meaning to put it on craigslist but now will use it for my bins.  It was a godsend when I had to move bales of alfalfa....

Finally I finished a pet portrait and mailed it off yesterday.  I have done several portraits for Nicki  and by the time I finish one I feel I know the animal.

DIL ("the one")  is arriving tonight for a very short three-day visit but I will be so glad to see her and have a list of things I need her help with. On her last visit she taught me how to use curlers in my hair...
Here we are when we met over 25+ years ago.. I just love her dearly....


Idaho State Button Society Show

The Idaho State Button Society Show is just a month away and even though I have been working toward it quite steadily since Sept., I now am thinking of 101 things I want to do before that date. More detailed  information can be found on their facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/IdahoStateButtonSociety/

 It has been such an eye opener to see how the world of button collectors collect and display their collections, their  dedication to documenting and researching buttons, and best of all their  embracing of all kinds of buttons.  While all these years I've had my head in the sand ...not only wanting just MOP buttons but MOP buttons a specific size for painting... and the added delighted surprise is finding collectors might like the buttons I had been painting for stitchers of crazy quilting.

 In spite of my health issues this winter I have gradually dwindled and organized my work-in-progress buttons.  Almost all scattered on my work table  have been finished as well as the little trays piled everywhere ....full of buttons in various state of  completion.  Now I am starting to think of what is needed at our sales table and it's also time to start adding finishing touches to my slide presentation.  I am really excited..

But I still have time to cook and garden and revel in all aspects of spring...one being gathering flowers from the garden for a table.  These   were the last hurrah for daffodils but looked OK still with the lovely yellow mahonia.  I have the little goldfinches from years ago when little mushroom birds were popular.

And the other big 1st every spring is  the first rhubarb pies and yesterday was the big day and noted on our calendar dairy..  It is DH's very favorite and I will be baking a lot of them for the freezer.


Was woman-dog once called girl-dog?

Someone wanted to know if I had contacted the animal shelter or humane society about my neighbor.  In our state these agencies do not have the jurisdiction to investigate, take action, or prosecute  anyone for animal abuse.  It is a criminal offense and if you call the animal shelter or humane society they will only tell you to call the police.   I know because over the years I have had to call the police about our neighbor.  The  sheriff's office does come out and either threatens or imposes a fine and have taken some animals away.  But they really never do anything about the basic problem because before long he again has more animals.

It should be a criminal matter because anyone who abuses or neglects animals is mentally ill and there is only a thin line before it is abuse against humans. This is always at the back of my mind so we tread carefully.  So for as long as she shows up in the morning we will make sure she has a good meal and a lot of loving...plus now I always check her ears for ticks.  I have no idea where she is the rest of the day but rest assured we will continue to watch over her the best we can.

 In a film we recently saw there  was a wonderful dog named "Woman" I wondered if as a pup she was called "girldog."  The film Woman at War is  an Icelandic production about a passionate environmental activist who wages a one-woman-war on nuclear power in Iceland. The plot, the music  and the cinematography were all superb and the final scenes spoke volumes about global warming.  I highly recommend it. 


Thank you Susie Wolfe.....

You might remember a while ago I posted this balcony array of succulents and made a not-too-subtle hint that I would love some succulents cuttings from my friend Susie Wolfe who has a fantastic succulent collection on her patio.

So it wasn't long before a large box arrived and was jammed with a wide variety of cuttings.  Friend Kathy came and helped me sort them, mix soil, and get them planted.  I watched numerous how-to videos on YouTube and now I just have to wait and hope they all root.  These are just part of them.  As they root I will move them into larger pots...and of course that means extra trips to the thrift stores for pots.  It will be so much fun and hope every single one roots.

Girldog was waiting on the porch when I got up this morning.  I am still in my night shirt and no glasses but we are having a bit of a ear rub and chat.  Actually she comes looking for DH who hasn't taken Morris for his morning walk for a couple days as DH has been sick.  The minute she heard DH's voice her huge tail starting wagging full speed.


Yep...... only me!!!

My friend told me that I was  the only person that would come up with this idea and the only person who would carry it out.... And she is probably right and she was  really thinking stupid enough.  Years ago I discovered that used carpet headed for the landfill made a great weed barrier and often used it in spots that weren't going to be planted anyway.. drives and paths.  It takes years and years for it to disintegrate and saves me from having to spray weed killer.  Plus it breathes and lets moisture through and recycles something... So over the years I had acquired an  excess of carpet rolls in the barn...

I sold the tractor which I used to groom the forest trail  (which is a mile long) and now I had to come up with an alternative for two sections of the trail that were particularly weedy... so last week I started cutting all the carpet into strips approx. 2 x 15 feet... It took a while working out the best tools and the best position to do it..  It turned out a utility knife and crawling on my hands and knees.  

Of course anytime I am on my hands and knees Morris thinks it's a game... Just try to cut carpet strips with a silly dog trying to lick your face and continually  rolling over to have his tummy rubbed.

I have about 40 strips cut and am now dragging them one by one about 1/2 mile into the forest. It has taken me almost 2 weeks and  I should be out of carpet in two more days,  95% of the trail requires miminal care and is through the pines... and looks like this.  This is along our eastern boundary and this is the view as I walk...;=

And this is the biggest weedy area and it is at the very back of the forest.  I'm not even sure what the weed is but I think it is bugloss.  I will have to look it up for sure.  It gets a gorgeous blue flower and a nasty burr that cling to dog and human alike.  It would take gallons of weed killer to eradicate it and I don't even want to do that.  Bees, spiders, and butterflies love it and I just want to walk through it..  Problem solved by crazy old lady and discarded carpet.
 Note: I always lay the carpet with the backing side up...


Will "Wet & Wild" reverse the trend???

My fashion favorites tend to run in cycles.  Years ago I went through a maxi dress phase and another was denim jumpers.  For years I was crazy about hats, especially straw hats. and wore them all the time.  It was my opinion that no matter what you were wearing, if you added a hat people thought you were "dressed up."  Then it was blazers and jackets and that was my first stop in thrift stores.  Again you could be wearing sweat pants but if you added a nice blazer people would think you were "dressed up." I accumulated a large selection of lovely jackets which I hardly wear any more.

Then I found myself unconsciously heading right for the cardigan section of thrift stores.  For years my only cardigans were an old blue and old red one I wore around the house in the winter and now quite unwittingly I was acquiring  a section in my closet devoted to cardigans... what was happening??

In my life only really old ladies wore cardigans,  I had three grandmas and they all wore cardigans over housedresses made of little prints.  In fact all the old ladies in my youth wore the same thing....it was almost the official uniform for proper little old ladies such as Miss Marple.  So now I find myself with a collection of cardigans which is growing.  There was one more thing old ladies of my youth all wore... heavy support hose rolled at the knees. And now I am having trouble with my left ankle swelling I too am wearing a support hose.... a pattern is beginning to form.

And it gets worse... both my grandma Craig and DH's grandma Koverik cut out sections of their shoes to ease the pain of bunions.  And I look down and sure enough I have cut a hole in my "at home" footwear to ease the pain of my bunion,  In fact on my right foot I have cut out section for a sore toe.

So it looks official that without knowing it I have fitted myself out as an old lady... Yesterday we were at Walmart and I bought a tube of "Wet & Wild" lipstick hoping to reverse the trend,


He who throws the first stone!

When we moved into this house 39 years ago there was a room that would be for DH to use.  The only problem is he never uses it.  He said he had always wanted an antique roll top desk which we couldn't afford....but we did get a nice reproduction.  The office swivel chair though is a genuine antique.

But the top of the desk and the chair have neither seen the light of day for about 35 years and he is the one who complains about all my stuff. My husband has
"piles" everywhere in the house. At least my stuff has some value...right?  So I had to chuckle at some of the emails and comments I got from other folks trying to downsize... especially the note from Marilyn today about her husband having a hard time letting go of his things.

I would hyperventilate every time I would think of packing and moving but I realized that I can hire someone to do it and what is left I can have an estate dealer come in and organize a sale and do it all. My plan is for the proceeds of that sale will help defray the cost of movers.  The house will go "as is" because anyone who has ever watched a fixer upper on TV knows that a house that is 113 years old is guaranteed to have lots of issues.  I want to spend at least one more summer here and am taking my time searching for options and realtors and etc.. I like to have a plan. A friend is coming Sunday to drive me around to look at various 55+ mobile home communities,  I want somewhere close to doctors, hospitals, dentist, senior and bridge centers,  DH would like an upscale condo near a bakery, winery and a Starbucks..

The daffodils are blooming and I can't bear to be indoors if it isn't raining.  Dear Susie Wolfe  is sending me starts from her fabulous succulent collection as a start of a different kind of gardening that I can take with me.  I can hardly wait until they get here.

Janet asked if it would be possible for us to take girldog with us when we move....but alas she is a St Bernard and we will be lucky to find a place that will allow a small dog,,,, BUT we do have someone that is willing, in fact anxious, to take her if we need to find a home for her.


I can handle pencils and poor girldog!

 Our home insurer, Hartford sent me a The 30-Day Declutter Challenge   written by Johnna Kaplan.  Spring always spurs me to declutter and now with moving and downsizing looming in our future it is even more so on my mind.  I tried the book where you take everything out and only put back only the things you really love... Which is the problem  because I really love everything I have.  But this challenge starts small...  The first day you sort pens and pencils and I can handle that.  I don't even think there is a single one I really love.  Anyway I printed the challenge out and put it on a clipboard and allow myself 90 days to do the 30 day challenge.  It did say at the end if you have lived where you are more than 20 years, you may have to consider  the first 30 day challenge  as phase one....we've been here 39 years so let phase one begin...
Yesterday morning our neighbors' dog showed up when I was feeding my chickens and she had a muzzle full of porcupine quills.  There was no way I could hold her and pull them so when DH got home he put some forceps in his pocket and walked over and offered to help   pull them... Neighbor's response was "She got them in and she can get them out" and when DH pointed out they could easily get infected, his response was "I don't give a shit!" and slammed the door in DH's face.  This neighbor is such a despicable human being. We will  be a  more vigilant with Morris knowing that we have a porcupine hanging around.  Haven't seen one since last fall.  When girldog shows up again we will have everything at hand to help her.

You can see how big she is... it will take two of us to hold her and get the quills out.  Every time I hear the neighbor shooting off his automatic handguns I am fearful for her health and safety.  One day when he was depressed he shot ALL his small animals...rabbits, ducks, chickens, etc. So he is not only despicable, he is scary.


Sad farewell and a new beginning...

Today I sold my precious tractor which I loved more than any car I've had.  I had it 34 years and moved tons of gravel, mulch and alfalfa bales with it... I always used it to groom the trail in the forest as well.   I haven't even used it for 3 years and knew it must go but making the decision was so hard.  Luckily I sold it to a new young neighbor about a mile away and he said I can come visit it anytime. In all those years DH hadn't been on it even once.  It was definitely my toy and I shall always have fond memories.

But moving on ...our health insurance includes a membership in a gym and we have never taken advantage of it.  But now that I am suppose to do cardio exercises we decided to join the YMCA and we can drop in whenever is convenient and use the equipment.  DH has been using a regular recumbent bike machine but I have fallen in love with this recumbent cross trainer machine which exercises the arms as well as the legs.

When I started yoga I had to get all the accessories to have the "look"  So now I had to have earbuds to listen to music and  a water bottle.  Then I noticed they all walked around with towels around their neck and had sweaty foreheads.  So I drape a towel around my neck and splash some water on my forehead.  With each session I increase the resistance and time and am now doing 40 minutes at 4 resistance,  Good considering I started at zero.

It is fun because we go together and I do feel stronger and healthier than I have in a long time.


Buttons, duck, and succulents!!

I had asked for suggestions for new things to paint on buttons and two I received were a panda and raggedy ann and andy... so I gave them a try.. Another reader asked if I could fit a cat, a mouse and some cheese on a 1" button,  It took a few tries but I managed.  I also added a new woodpecker to my collection... a pileated woodpecker with its red bonnet.  They are all now loaded up on the Etsy site. https://www.etsy.com/shop/olderrose   Getting all the buttons organized is a top priority.

And in the kitchen I made duck wellington for a company on Sunday.  Not having done them before I was a bit nervous but as it turned out there was an excellent YouTube video on how to assemble them.  You spread pate on a layer of prosciutto  and added the duck , rolled it up and then encased it in puff pastry... This is a show stopper main course that could be assembled the day ahead.  Before I have done duck crepes but making the crepes at the last minute is hectic.  The puff pastry was perfect.  Instead of the recommended blackberry sauce I used our local huckleberries as a sauce.  Yummy all the way around.

I snagged this cool picture  off of facebook because I thought it was a great idea for a balcony.  It won't be long now before we have to make a decision about selling the farm and moving to town... I will require at least a balcony if I can't get a bit of actual ground and succulents would be just the ticket and I'm thinking I need to get a head start.  My dear friend Susie Wolfe has a fabulous collection of succulents on her patio and I'm thinking she may be coaxed into sending me some starts....hint/hint/hint,

Walking a LOT and we joined the Y so I am stronger than I've been for years and all the heart drama is a thing of the past. My goal is 6000 steps each day and mostly make it and if I hesitate DH gives me a nudge and encouragement.  I have a small patch in front that is free if snow and I am out there tomorrow rain or shine...

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