Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas at Home 2006

Wow, it was April 2006 we made the last entry to this blog! No way to 'catch up' 10 months of no posts. Life has certainly moved on for us, but not this blog.

Okay, so Christmas 2006. We purchased (at seriously reduced price) a new artificial Christmas tree. We already have a huge 6 foot tree that completely takes up either the upstairs or downstairs cupola if that is where we place it. Or takes up the whole front of the living room if that is where we place it. It certainly holds all the decades of Christmas ornaments back to when the children were, in fact, children. Now, they are grown with children of their own.

It's kind of sad in a nostalgic kind of way to put up the big tree with all the years of ornaments unless the kids and grandkids are going to come for Christmas visit. For now they are scattered about, and sometimes they can do the travel, sometimes not. I wanted instead a smaller more compact tree that I could tuck in a corner and I'm quite satisfied with the size of this smaller tree.



















Our Christmas gift to ourselves this year. A nice double recliner loveseat. We have for several years now been discussing getting either couch or loveseat that has dual recliners. It was still years in the future for us as a purchase. When we were out and about taking in Christmas bazaars and such like, we came across a garage sale that we almost didn't stop at and found this great dual recliner at a price too good to pass on.

Nope, not telling, but we knew we would not likely come across such an affordable price for this kind of piece of furniture again and it was in such good, cared for shape. We left, both yearning and wishing we hadn't committed to dental work and $$ cost to us. Somehow we managed to talk ourselves into believing we could tighten the budget belt, squeezing hard, eat beans and rice, and doing so could manage to pay the dentist $$ and treat ourselves to this Christmas present. Now, it's February and we are recovering but recliner is paid for and so is the dentist $$.


posted entry by Lietta Ruger

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Toothless Me ..."Are ya ready Roy?" - Gabby Hayes



Yesterday, Lietta and I drove to Deep River Dental in Raymond and Dr. Hamilton pulled all of my top teeth.

I was surprised at how easy and rapidly it went once I was good and numbed up and breathing a little bit of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). I remember some sort of minor interruption while he gave one of my teeth another shot of numb juice, touching my gums with my tongue and saying "4 down and 4 to go," with which he agreed.

Shortly thereafter he was done, the upper plate was put in immediately and I was warned not to take it out, prescribed pain medication and an appointment to come back next day (this morning) where he checked and made minor adjustments in the plate.

Once the numbness went away, I was glad for the pain killer hydrocodon but have only taken 4 doses since the pulling.

Dr. Hamilton is also the local Mormon bishop and I have had some interaction with him previously. He's a good dentist and I've seen him in action at the one church meeting I was invited to attend back in April.

Lietta now cooking soft foods with mashed potatoes and shredded meat (beef, pork and chicken) as the foundation.

Tonight I removed the plate for a salt water rinsing as instructed and looked at my toothless self for the first time. It's not readily obvious although Lietta said she could tell right away. The gums are already covered over without stitches as the plate served that function.

I've been off work yesterday and today and will return to work tomorrow.

Spent lots of time on the computer, online and playing Age of Kings to pass away the time, especially yesterday when the pain was more pronounced. I did sleep good though but have been drowsy all day.

Now 7:45, Lietta working on supper and I'm writing.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Gallery of my real oil paintings



click on the photo to view gallery of my oil paintings over the years

Messing around with the computer Paint tool - digital paintings



click on the painting to see more at my Picasa public gallery

Friday, October 27, 2006

More promptings from stories of Military Brats Online

I seemto do a wandering among the links at Military Brats Registry and get myself tangled up as the links take me offsite to other links that take me offsite. Anyway, so that I can return promptly to Military Brats Online, where there is a list of Brat stories, I'm blogging a quick entry. I will revisit Military Brats Online and the Brats stories posted there will prompt me with my own memories.

Already I was prompted by something suggested - and yes, we were a family who traveled the old Route 66 highway - back in the day. Now those are some photos I really wish we had - many of those old places are gone, torn down, don't exist any more. Another thing that doesn't quite exist any more is the way in which we traveled when we returned stateside.....before Interstate highways - back when travel meant 2 lane highways, some sort of tourist interest stop in practically every town and whistle stop along the way.

I really must try to write about the month long travel trip we took when we returned stateside - arriving in San Francisco, going north to World's Fair in Seattle and seeing the Space Needle, driving across Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Dakotas and then south criss crossing until we arrived at our new base assignment - Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. It seemed we stopped at every natural vista and man made tourist attractions along the way. I might ask my two sisters and brother to 'remember when' to help me round out the details of this memorable trip.

Promptings from Podcasts at Military Brats Registry -

I plan to listen to the series of podcasts placed at Military Brats Registry, and then write some thoughts about them.
Leaving an entry here more to quickly link to the page list of podcasts; Military Brats Registry Podcasts

It's here! The Military Brats Registry "Every Brat Has a Story" podcast is now available. The program can be downloaded to your computer or mp3 device such as the Apple iPod. And if you're using iTunes or iPodder you can subscribe to automatically download to your device. Click on "podcasts" in iTunes and enter "Military Brats" in the search box, then subscribe (free!). Each episode will be automatically downloaded into iTunes and to your iPod.

Exploring my history being raised as a Military Brat - 1950s and 1960s

Back in earlier days of internet, a website called Military Brats Registry came into being. I found my way there somehow and I truly don't remember and registered. Remember this was the 'early days' of internet, so formatting websites, forms, signing up and security looked a little different then. Later I heard media reporting on Military Brats Registry and how it was gaining in popularity. It was good to hear, cause it meant many 'military brats' were interested and glad for this new found home on the internet.


Along the years, I learned of dvd production in the works and waited and waited and waited. Finally dvd 'Brats, Our Journey Home' was released and I promptly bought a copy. Or I should say my dear husband promptly bought a copy as gift for me. We watched it together as soon as it arrived in the mail. And it resonated with me so strongly in so many ways. I took notes (that's my nature when I'm really interested in both capturing and remembering) and spent some time today revisiting some of those older military brat sites I remember from late 1990s.

I wanted to chronicle the links, websites, books, resources and I really didn't want to start a whole new blog to do it. So I looked around at all my blogs, and decided this one was the most logical place to spend some time chronicling my military brat history and building link connections. I'll be adding some link banners to the sidebar, and blogging new entries in what will seem my own homecoming exploration.

This is a bittersweet project for me to undertake for a multitude of reasons, yet it will also be strengthening to make the connections, all the 'aha' moments that tell me more about who I am to me. My parents divorced when I was about 14 which abruptly ended our connection to military life. Unfortunately, it was an ugly divorce that my father worked to obstruct. He could get quite mean in his effort to control or manipulate the circumstances. He kept and/or destroyed all the mementos, photographs, slides, keepsakes, etc that were our history over those years. As a consequence, my mother doesn't have much she can share visually, and neither do I except what I can recover from my spotty memory. It helps that other military brats are sharing their memories as it serves as 'triggers' for me in remembering and in what I hope to chronicle here at this blog.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More bread, more jerky, and online stuff

Completed preliminary work on two new blogs to replace two current blogs eventually. Idea is creation of new blogs more amenable to commercial intent with blogads, amazon books an downloaded E-books and or PDF files created by me and sold via PayPal.

In afternoon I escaped to the kitchen, made some more bread and put more jerky in the drier.

Lietta still in paint mode but had phone conference that ultimately interferred with painting yesterday afternoon.

Nice weekend.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturdays always fun. Sleep in and get creative.

Dallied with online blogs in prep to creating one or two commercial blogs with an attempt at ad revenue, marketing things and books thru Amzaon and prepping to put together E-books and/or pdf files of my writings. These would be available as downloaded PDF or E-Book files for a price.
I already have the E-book compiler on both Lietta's and my computers.

By late afternoon Lietta was ready to paint so we went downstairs to her new "painting studio" where she continues to amaze me with what I would term her confidant painting in which she completes her works more rapidly and seems to be creating more from memory than the picture model she still picks out and uses.

The ideas flow freely and her eyes and hands fill in the blanks. Yesterday's was an impressive autumn color painting that I in fact was dazzled just after she finished preparing the trees and the misty woods without adding any leaves to the branches. The effect was powerful.

I got caught up in working on muse stuff and poetry prompters so the next time I turned around she'd created a cabin, a dock and reflections on the water in front of the cabin and autumn trees.

Back upstairs for ad-lib supper. Ad-lib supper is where we each grab whatever wwe want. Lietta opted for homemade jerky, licorice and a large bowl of raisin bran. Earlier I'd made potatoes, onions, eggs, cheese and bacon - a breakfast I make quite often.

So neither of us were famished. I made a box of cheap (Western Family) macaroni and cheese and stirred in a can of green beans to give it more volume with the M&C was ready.

Watched some TV and went upstairs. Bored, I put on my Age of Kings game and got so caught up that when I looked at the clock is was after 1:00 AM. Went down stairs where I could hear the TV, thinking I'd find Lietta deep asleep on the couch.

Nope ... "Hi Honey, I could hear you up there.!"

She was watching National Geographic about insect swarms. Put the TV on in the BR and I know I fell asleep first.

Friday, October 20, 2006

End of frenetic work week

My office is tiny. At one point years ago there was talk of "foot-printing" the office which meant reducing staff to a size where one or two workers would accept applications and forward to a parent office in Aberdeen.

Never happened thanks to reality checks and timely political intervention. However, staff continually reduced and our actual size is less than "foot-print." More like "toe-print" as Lietta likes to say.

Last week, my first week back from vacation has been a buzzing nightmare. Complicated by receptionist on vacation and leadworker's need to replace receptionist which moves me up the list to leadworker's backup receptionist. I work reception during leadworker's breaks and lunch hour.

Twas the wrong week. I never fully brought the vacation backlog up to currency, was constantly flooded with scheduled and unscheduled but unavoidable client interviews.

I'll be playing catch-up for another week or so. Makes me feel very reluctant to take any vacation at all - rather, spread time out to 3 or 4-day weekends as an alternative.

Seriously ...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jerky, Pizza & Pills

For the past 6-8 months, I have been going without one of my prescription medications, Indomethacin, for help with gout. This is a potent anti-inflammatory drug that is used to combat a gout attack as well as help regulate inflammation in the joints and keep it down.

Well, when the druggist announced that Indomethacin was not available a few months ago, I just went without because I have two other gout medications and have not had an actuall attack now into the third year.

However, I have noticed a deterioration that has led to constant pain in back, knees, wrists and hips. Sufficient to slow me down, creat havoc for the hours immediately following physical exertion such as mowing the lawn and hip pain that stopped me from sleeping thru the night.

Anyway, when the pharmacy announced that they now have Indomethacin, I took my first tablets two nights ago and slept thru the night with much less pain, did not have to go to the lazyboy in the middle of the night, and woke up quite a bit more spritely. Same thing the next night.

Which tells me that the Indomethacin with its ability to suppress these discomforts - something I'm glad to have back - was also suppressing knowledge of my body's actual pain and discomfort.

A mixed blessing ....

Baked DiGiorno's Pizza by adding canned olive slices, mushroom slices, chopped onions and grated cheese before baking.

And I finished marinating the slices of roast. Put them in the food dryer for overnight drying. Watched discovery channel on origin of the Universe while chewing pizza.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday and we started reading

Earlier in the week Lietta and I watched a bio-video of historian Howard Zinn on link TV.

If you want to learn something rather than sit in front of the boob tube like a zombie in an opium den, go find LINK TV on your cable channel. Scary, but you might actually learn stuff.

Howard Zinn wrote, "The People's History of the United States," a few years back. Colleagues - historians who have traditionally defined history as all stars in all-star events like war, scientific breakthrough and capitalist success stories, pooh-poohed the book because it was unorthodox.

NY Times book review praised the hell out of it because it was readable, informative and truthful - with viewpoints rarely observed from the ivory towers of professional educators and their sponsors.

So last Sunday while in Portland, I went into Powell's and bought the two-volume edition. Last night, we curled up in bed, set a lamp behind the bed post and I commence reading to Lietta. Now this usually lasts about five minutes and she's out.

Not this time. She lasted for most of the chapter and when she finally gave up the ghost, I was ready to stop and go to sleep as well. It's fun reading a college text this way and for the first time in my life, when I come to chapter's end, the discussion questions will be useful cause she and I will want to talk before moving on.

Recommended: A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday and backlog at work

The reason why I take only a week's vacation at a time is because even after a week, when I return I'm swamped with backlog. Office severely understaffed and unable to cover each other's caseloads completely.

I'll be playing catch up and treading water on current events for two weeks until it stablizes.

Come home ready to be home.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Monday: Back to work

Moody morning but off to work on time. Within 15 minutes of arrival and I feel like I lost 9 days of rest to 5 minutes of a familiar grind.

Busy all day and facing the worst fall-behind in the past 2-3 years of vacations where staff kept my stuff quite current.

Interviews were all rough in the sense of hard to use humor around the seriouness of illness, job loss and psycho-drama. In all this I need to figure out a way to work through another 6 years before eligibility to retire - or figure a way to replace the income with a job less emotionally draining.

Working on it.

Home to wife and companion ... a blessed return from work.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Portland

Sunday visit to Portland, originally planned as day trip to see autumn colors. But the agenda was rain rain rain.
Went anyway to visit stepson Chris Coy in his new apartment in Beaverton/Tigard area near Portland, Or.

All day visit including awesome buffet at Sweet Tomatoes which is in reality an all-you-can-eat salad bar with strong vegetarian emphasis since only meat was in salads.

Then drove to Portland State University campus where Chris is enrolled p/t while working for Standard Insurance.

Finally back to his apartment. For some reason his computer has no word processor and - per Chris - spell check (says he needs it most). So Lietta sat down at his computer and ...
(1) Got him a Yahoo email address.
(2) then sent him an invite to Gmail (which we both have)
(3) That allowed him to get gmail address AND open a google program for himself called Britely (an online word processor).

So now he has one.
We drove home in the rain and dark(125 miles), arriving at 10:00.

Oh, and vacation ended Friday. Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday - Apple butter, making jerky, baking bread and Howard Zinn

The kind of Saturday we moved out here to have.
Up after sleep in and updating ourselves on the world situation via intenet until noonish. And reorganization of my favorites.

Burnt out on all the social-political babble and Babel and have spent the last three days unsubscribing from all the newsletters except one or two. Then reorganized my bookmarks, deleting an endless array of political blogs all talking about the same things.

Finally sated internetly, went down to kitchen to act like a rural property owner. Helped Lietta peel apples for making apple butter in crockpot.
Partially thawed a roast and then sliced into jerky strips. Then mixed ingredients for "Barbecue Jerky" marinate in blender. Combined and stirred the meats and left in fridge. Will dry jerky monday after marinate soaks in because we are gone all day Sunday to Portland to see son, Chris Coy.

Made 4 loaves of bread and watched two DVD's: Bush's Brain about Karl Rove and one on historian activist Howard Zinn.

Fell asleep in bed during 11:00 news.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th. Devil shows up at our house.

So we;'ve been busy every morning of my vacation chasing our internet priorities and the afternoons continuning or working around the house or yard.

I'm an older guy now flying around the hive trying to find the place where I want to fit in, where I want to make and store honey, and where I want to help make a more attractive and livable hive. Still haven't totally discovered what that is so I live in a constant frustation - exacerbated by weariness in employment and longing for the day I can retire.

My job is mentally and emotionally draining every day. Lietta says average career doing that one duty before needing to transfer to other duties is 7 years. I'm closing in on 14 years at it. Can't transfer cause nowhere in the office to transfer. Don't want promotions cause I'd end up promoting and monitoring the very poison I drink now.

So I'm cranky at home, flail about sometimes emotionally and smack Lietta on her emotional nose - which makes us both uncomfortable. Today I lost my temper and wew had a discussion that was long overdue. Wouldn't you know it would be on Friday the 13th?

She gave me insights witthout ultimatums and they hit me like a splash of cold water on a sleeper or a blast of extremely strong coffee on a drunk. "Thanks! I needed that!" wake up call. Like I was hypnotized and when she snapped her fingers verbally, I woke up.

New perspective on an old perspective that served us well when courting and early marriage.

Karl and Eve, our across-the-street neighbors arrived from Seattle Thu night. After going to town for groceries, we went to their studio and visited for a couple of hours while Karl made the report and showed us his album from his recent trip to France and Brtain where Eve joined him.

Then home to unload groceries.
Worked on my NBA fantasy which we both agree keeps my mind healthy with it's heavy demand on mental agility, math and imagination.
Watched Bill Maher, ate some supper, finally wearied out around 10:30. We fell asleep in bed less than ten minutes into the evening news.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thursday - Putting off painting and poetry to

do online pictures. Lietta was going to paint downstairs in her studio and I was going to be there and be quiet - perhaps working on poetry.

But then we both got caught up doing online picture programs. When her computer crashed two weeks ago, I had to scrub it clean and re-install Windows XP, erasing all content. Among what was lost was her photo collection.

I downloaded all the photos in my computer onto a CD. She also hunted down previous online sites where she had photos stored. Found new and better ones like Snapfish, Ringo and the like. Created a "room" at snapfish where all family members can upload their photos. It's kind of like a safety deposit box at a bank. You can keep your stuff online where crashed computers and space limitiations don't matter much. You access your collections by joining and using a password which theoretically protects your collections from the prying eyes of snoopers. Uh huh .... but I'm willing to live with that risk so as to not lose any more photos.

Anyway, we never painted or poeted because we spent most of the day photo collecting, moving around, building albums and storing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wednesday Online photos, websites, blogging and the power goes out.

Today turned out to be reading, writing, designing, updating and candle lighting when the power finally went out.

Talked about breakfast but neither of us did anything.
Talked about lunch but neither of us did anything.

Finally went to the store and bought a couple of grinders, milk, and sweet stuff.

Came home after eating and back upstairs. Not for long. Power went out.

Drove to the beach, now about 7:00 PM and watched the orange and pink in the horizon with the sunset.

Came home, lit a few candles and the power came back on.

Evening watching TV police dramas Criminal Minds and CSI New York.

And to bed.

Blogging political activisim dying in my mind almost minute by minute. Went into bloglines and deleted everything. Then to a google search of blogs that talk about what I'm interested in and subscribed to just a few.

Also returned to ourstory.com to work more on life story/bio.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Filmstrip of progress in our yard

Tuesday: Website Remodel

During morning online I thought I'd see what the other MFSO state sites are putting up.

Made me decide to build a site-map for our site, simplify the navigation bar and generally do some editing of old stuff.

7 hours later I had myself a site map and other than taking 15 minutes to move some sod around the yard for Lietta, the rest of the afternoon and evening was dinner and some television.

Mind was fried by the tediousness of screening our entire chapter website for articles and stuff. My site map functions like an index at the back of a book but it was worth it.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Monday, the Kitchen and Robert McNamara

First actual day of vacation.
The morning routine whether on vacation or not is always up fairly early and online. During vacation this means online until noon or later.

Lots of reading and writing that is so much pleasure!
Afternoon we finished reworking the kitchen. Now more shelves, more space and more functionality. I've promised Lietta to become more of a kitchen activist learning new recipies, activing my food drying for both fruits and jerky and making more homemade bread.

Supper was leftovers that were still excellent taste thrills. We then put in a Netflix DVD entitled The Fog of War which is a video interview with former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Mostly commentary and film footage that was interesting and full of anectdotes we had never heard.

Bread machine chimed in having baked a Krusteaz box of white bread. I was not interested in storage and we ate hot fresh bread with butter during the McNamara commentary.

Lietta fell asleep and I was multi-tasking, listening to Robert and working on a computer basketball game in which I'm creating a 12-team league of teams made up of NBA all-time all stars.

Bottom line out of the McNamara DVD was a quote he made somewhere toward the end ...

"People have got to stop killing other people!"
The fog of war in which no participant is fully aware of the breadth of the on-going tragedy.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Reworking the kitchen

My heart yearns for the freedom of retirement.
More than 40 years of full-time employment
- perhaps with the exception of 1986 when
unemployment lasted more than six months
and I actually managed to write a 600+ page novel
in my spare time while seeking a job.

Today, leisurely, I spent all morning online
thinking about my writing activities in my new variation.
I've been to the blogging circus and blogged away.
I have blogs I'm proud of, but political blogging in depth
- with a self-imposed obligation to write every day
robs all other creativity of energy.

Combined with the blood-sucking drain on emotional energy,
which is the substance of my employment and my duties.
Too-tired-to-think blogging robs me of my ultimate
literary and intellectual pleasures. I have a book in progress;
had one now going on twenty years. And there are more
where that one comes from.

By afternoon I brake off the online stuff and return to reworking
the kitchen as sweetheart and I had discussed earlier in the morning.
Went to the basement, freed up bricks and boards, hauled the rattan
furniture down there and set up brick-and-board shelving in the kitchen.
Moved the pink table into the bay and plan today is to continue moving
dishes, pots and pans and cooking utensils into more accessible places.

Sweetheart in conference call with MFSO Washington State Chapter
leadership team while I cook potatoes, onions, green onions, mushrooms,
tomatoes, eggs and cheese into a supper to remember.
Filling even if overdue and worth the wait.
We went to bed and fell asleep during Without A Trace
Woke up, turned the TV off after midnight.

Ten things you can do with Lavender

courtesy of Lavender specialists at Labyrinth Hill

Ten Things You Can Do With Lavender...
Without Sewing, Gluing, Nailing or Painting!

Mosquito Repellant
Lavender straw is the leftover stalks and branches from processing the dried buds. It’s quite useful as a fragrant and effective insect repellent. Toss a handful of the straw onto the barbecue or picnic fire. It will repel flies and mosquitoes!
Bud Denuding Device

Vinegar’s Not Just for Salads

Bring one cup of distilled white vinegar to a boil and pour it over a half cup of fresh lavender flowers to make “Cosmetic Vinegar.” Cover and leave for twenty-four hours before straining and bottling. For a skin softening and restoring bath, add a half cup to a tub of warm water.

Cosmetic vinegar may be diluted by adding 2 T. to a pint of water. Used as a hair rinse, the vinegar neutralizes any shampoo residue and re-stores the acidic mantle.

Oil of Lavender

When using essential oil as a massage oil it needs to be diluted with light vegetable oil. Our recipe for Oil of Lavender can be used full strength. Fill a clear glass jar loosely with dried lavender buds. Top with olive oil and cap the container. Leave this jar in a sunny window for a few weeks shaking it every few days. Strain the oil into another container through a funnel lined with cheesecloth. Press and squeeze the flowers to extract as much of the scent as possible. For a more potent oil, repeat the process once or twice more. A few drops of this will scent a bath!

Lavender Tea Bread With Lemon Glaze

Lavender Sugar

Process 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lavender in a blender just until the flowers are crushed. (Be sure to use only culinary lavender.) Sieve out large pieces and store sugar in a glass jar at least one week before using. Sweeten a cup of tea for a fragrant break from your busy day. This sugar will keep for about three months.

Lavender Fields Indoors
Place approximately ½ cup dried lavender buds into a small muslin bag. Firmly knot the opening. Toss the bag into your dryer when doing sheets. It leaves a light fresh scent. The muslin bag scent will last for 5-7 dryer loads and can be refreshed with a few drops of lavender essential oil.

Lavender Hair Rinse

Lavender makes a good hair rinse especially for gray hair. Steep a handful of fresh or dried flowers in a pint of boiling water. When it cools, strain it and use as a final rinse water after shampooing.

Sage and Lavender Aftershave
Thought lavender was only for the ladies? Think again! Combine 2 cups witch hazel extract (it’s available at most drugstores) 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried lavender flowers and 1 ounce (also about 1 cup) dried sage in a large glass jar with a lid. Close the jar and let the mixture steep for one week, shaking it daily. Then strain off and discard herbs and bottle the lotion. What a treat for your Sweetie!

Wedding Package

It’s Wash Day
Plant a lavender hedge near your laundry room door. When the sun shines dry your pillow cases or lingerie over the bushes. Also use muslin sachets filled with lavender, placing them between the folds of freshly laundered sheets, in your linen closet.

Lavender’s on the Loose!

When you change your vacuum cleaner bag, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds on the floor. Vacuum them up and you will gently freshen the room each time you vacuum.

Magical Lavender Wand

Sweet Lavender Tisane

“Tisane” is a tea made from dried fruit, flowers, and/or berries. Be sure to use culinary lavender for this recipe. Place 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender flowers in a teapot (1½ T if using dried). Add 2 cups of boiling water. Allow the flowers to steep for 3 or 4 minutes, strain and serve with a slice of lemon and honey.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I love October and stay-home-all-day leisure

I love October and stay-home-all-day leisure

Didn't sleep in this morning. Hip pain woke me up.
Made coffee and came upstairs to the lure
of the Internet. I'm an online addict.
I quit smoking a year ago and abandoned
that addiction successfully. But I also became
an online writer and political activist;
another addiction of dubious merit.

Political activism seemed to satisfy my desire
- participation in the enwakenment of an electorate -
shoving around voters made aware of how apathy has
afflicted this country. Now at my age, I see enough
youngsters who'll "take it from here." I can go back
to knowing how I'll vote, when to speak and what to say.
Cause more and better talents do the same many times elsewhere.

Yearning now at 60 for more
quality time at home
- not driven by anyone else's magic.
Almost I can look on, amused
at how all the ants in the pile are awake,
aroused and all over Republican grasshoppers
stuck in angry and aroused mandibles.

Early afternoon I went down, pulled up
the last of the carpet in the living room.
All our old wooden floor is now exposed.
Then moved shelving and my books around
so as to move one of our portable wardrobes
into the nook between
the living room and bathroom.

Back upstairs in the evening briefly
until sweetheart called me to soup
which left me drowsy within a few minutes.
I fell asleep back at the keyboard.
She woke me up with a call
from downstairs around midnight
of my first day off work.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Quality Time On Vacation

Quality Time on Vacation

I always like Friday nights;
the open, lazy moment
when work is done, nothing demands
and tomorrow there'll be no need
to rise early and start working
on my game face
not for two days.

Even better but less frequent,
next month will see the first night
of my week's vacation.
A week in April and a week in October;
never two full weeks because I can't
be gone that long in an office
so understaffed.

My case load, after two weeks off,
would be too far behind.
The end of the first day
back at work
would leave me
ready for another
week's vacation.

I'll stay up into the night because
I can sleep in tomorrow.
I read my regulars
as I do every morning
and evening
after work.
Tonight more leisurely.

Maybe ... Republican sexual follies.
My secret delight that they keep tripping over themselves.
In anxiety to grab money and power,
the're more clumsy
and morally vacant
than all other politicians
combined.

News from Iraq always bad.
But if it has to be bad,
I'm pleased
that it's Bush's fault,
the Republicans' fault.
They deserve repudiation.
Damn you assholes!

No moral fibre,
no personal integrity,
no genuine concern,
no compassion
only greed,
avarice and
mean spirited religion.

Summer's End 2006, was a great spring and summer




There's no pretentions to this home, it's pretty much salt of the earth kind of house and we live in pretty much as salt of the earth kind of people. Now, I'm not saying there haven't been efforts to get the house more upscale and we're grateful to PO who invested in giving the house more than a cosmetic face lift as the PO before them had done. As you read our blog and see our pics, you kinda see the down and dirty along with what we hope are some of the pretty.

Haven't done much 'remodeling' since we started this blog, and there is good reason for that, but moving on...end of summer 2006. We spent many happy, contented hours of the spring and summer months working on yard and garden.



End of summer 2006, and sad to see the season come to a close, but there will be another summer in 2007 and we look forward to watching all the new plantings grow next year. Planted a hybrid 3 kinds of apples on one tree - that should be interesting. Planted an ornamental Mt Fuji Japanese white flowering cherry tree.

We ordered ten bare root trees from National Arbor the second year we lived here and planted them per instructions. Bare root trees are really just twigs sticking out of the ground. Dear husband ran over several of them with the lawn mower - more than once. Accident, of course, not intentional. But they must be hardy because only about 5 didn't make it and 5 are still with us. We replanted them in 2006 season to their new permanent homes.

We planted two Eucalyptus trees, one is potted in whiskey barrell and the other in the front yard. That about does it for the trees I can plant in our limited yard space. And it's too bad, because I wasn't done with trees for our yard yet. I learned this year that where we live, we have a mini planting zone that permits some plantings that don't do as well in the regional climate zone shown on the climate zone maps as our 'zone'. We live on a northern bay on the Pacific Coast which creates a maritime climate zone for us. That can be good and not so good, but it does help me to realize that what my inland neighbors can grow is not the same thing I can as easily grow. Now, it seems in addition to apples (Washington - apples, you know), I can also grow peaches and apricots. Really! Okay, but sigh - no room in our yard. I'll just have to fit it in some way cause I intend to have one of each.



entry by Lietta Ruger - green thumb is shaping up

Sunday, September 24, 2006

40 Years Smoking and I did it - Quit - cold turkey

40 year smoker at a pack a day. My husband, smoker for 12 years cared enough to quit first and lead the way for me. I know better than to become the 'reformed smoker' who nags other smokers to quit. All I can do is share what helped me get to the place of being able to mentally embrace the concept of quitting smoking. I'm only 9 days 'clean and free of nicotine' so I'm still vulnerable and susceptible to a relapse - but I don't think that is going to happen. I don't sense or feel a relapse in the cards for me. And the why of that is another blog entry.

I have read all the 'ills' of smoking over the decades, but rarely come across reading that tells me what is good about smoking. Yes, that's right, I said what's 'good' about smoking. I don't see myself as a bad person and need to know that beyond addiction what is that cigarettes do for me that makes it so hard to quit.

Might then I recommend some reading that helped me because it actually indicates what is good about smoking; not why one should continue but what the brain/body rewards one gets out of smoking. The reading also helps break down what one can expect in quitting hour by hour! Going in better prepared, I am able to outlast my brain signals of cravings as those cravings go from the discomfort of intensely fierce to nagging reminder to those longer periods of time of what is actual comfort.

So let me recommend;

Nicotine Withdrawal and Recovery Symptoms
The Effects of Nicotine Cessation
by John R Polito
(a former smoker - takes one to know one, eh?)
link http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Symptoms.html

Monday, September 04, 2006

Hiking at the Bowl and Pitcher

Here's Red running up the trail at our trip to Bowl and Pitcher

Sunday, August 27, 2006

2006 pix of yard progress since Nov 2002.

We bought this house in Nov 2002. Now in 2006, I have an acquisition of photos that show changes in the yard. Photos below are from 2006. I will need to backtrack to add slideshow photos from previous years.


RockYou slideshow | View | Add Favorite



We bought this house in Nov 2002. In Spring 2003, began work in the yard, very modest beginning, mostly adding a few annuals, some containers, cutting back rhodies and some other overgrown mature specimens. For vegetable garden, I used split-bag topsoil, planting seeds directly into the split bags.

In Spring 2004, work in earnest began to shape up the yard, retaining the flavor of the original owners vision. Also did not want to take out, prune, remove plants until we knew what they were - using that axiom to wait a year and see what's what.

In Spring 2005, more work in earnest, serious pruning, removing, and began actually rearranging, creating and starting to claim yard more to our vision, rather than preserving integrity of original owners vision. Learned original owners stopped living in the house, using on occasional weekends, so yard upkeep had lost it's shaping over the years.

In Spring 2006, we are now engaged in claiming the yard as our own. We have been one-income family since May 2003 when I left my career employment. It has put a serious damper on spending so working the yard has been on extremely frugal budget.
Patience and bit by bit, plant by plant, back-breaking labor, we are very gradually getting somewhere towards our yet unrealized vision for the yard and house.


RockYou slideshow | View | Add Favorite

Wee Garden Inventory of plants; Bay Center house


Zones, Planting Seasons,


Calendar In the Sunset Western Garden Book (1996, 2001, Sunset Pub. Corp., Menlo Park, Calif.), the western U.S. is divided into 24 Climate Zones. These Climate Zones do NOT correspond to the USDA Hardiness Zones.

Zone 5

Marine Influence Along the Northwest Coast Mild ocean air bring relatively warm winters in this Zone. Minimum temperatures range from 28o to 1o F, although in some year a "big freeze" can cause considerable damage to plants. Zone 5 extends from the Puget Sound area in Washington, including Seattle and Tacoma, south along the Pacific Coast to north of Brookings, Oregon, including Astoria, Newport, Coos Bay.



Perennials


* Delphinium - twice over the years and both eaten by slugs
* Asiatic Lillies -transplanted and they died
* Calla Lilly - grrr, of 5 planted, only one has come back
* Daisies - tall variety, transplanted, doing well
* Carnation - doing well
* Snapdragon - does well
* pansies - does well
* dusty miller - does well
* iris - does quite well
* gladiolas - doing well
* calendula orange flowers - not perennials, but have blooms into winter
* primroses - does well
* ranunculous flowers, red, yellow, white - slugs ate them
* heliotrope - not perennial, an annual, and nice choice
* tulips - after 3 yrs, looks like tulips bloomed this year
* daffodils - does well
* Columbine - volunteered in 2005 and doing well in 2006.
* Foxglove - didn't come back, trying again this year with new plant.
* Creeping Buttercups - arghh, like weeds, bane of my garden beds.
* Lavender - many varieties
* Rosemary - evergreen actually, and grows to bush size
* sedum varieties
* Hibiscus - 2 plants 2006, planted front rose bed
* Bleeding Heart - white; planted 2006, shaded back side of yard.
* Dahlia - 2 plants 2005; died.



Annuals



* pansies - does well
* petunias - does well
* cosmos - does well
* sunflowers - slugs eat, russian mammoth spectacle if can keep slugs from it
* marigolds - does well
* strawflowers - does well
* geraniums - does well
* allysum - does well
* baby's breath .. white flowers
* begonias - does well



Bulbs and Rhizones



* iris - doing great
* calla lillies - finicky
* asian lillies - died
* easter lillies - died
* gladiolas - doing well
* hosta - 4 plants disappeared,slugs or died
* hosta type in planters
* tulips..lost them, didn't produce again. oops reappeared in 3rd yr



Trees


* Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree
* Monkey Puzzle Tree
* Maple
* Weeping Norway Spruce
* Evergreen trees in back yard
* 10 dry root seedlings Natl Arbor membership - which in 4th yr are showing progress. Next spring if they flower, I can perhaps identify which is which. We lost the coloring chart. 3 in front yard, 2 in back yard so 5 of 10 of the tree roots made it.
* Mugho pines - planted 2 small starters this yr = 2006
* Japanese white flowering Mt Fuji - planted 2006
* Apple hybrid tree with 3 apple varieties on one tree - planted 2006. (will list varieties here)
* Eucalyptus - 2 trees. planted one in front yard 2006 and one in whiskey barrel planter end of 2005 season.



Shrubs and Bushes



* Rhodedendrons = Eight mature.
* barberry, a small tree or shrub w vivid yellow blossoms and red berries. Oh, why - husband pulled up when we were ignorant of what it was - total loss in trying to re-plant or propagage. Good news though, in the other bed, a shoot is coming up, so may still have a new barberry with it's internal yellow trunk - medicinal properties.
* Hydrangea = 3, and only 1 lived, 2004. It is doing well in it's third year
* Lilac = mature, but it is struggling. Lost 2 trunks in Fall 2005, new baby is coming up between remaining 2 trunks.
* Fuschia Tree - does very well, cautiosuly pruned in spring 2005, no need as it comes back in fullness. hard pruned spring 2006 and it still comes back in fullness.
* juniper - mature, tried to propagate 2006; not taking
* Weeping Norway Spruce - doing well
* Lacey Leaf Japanese Red Maple, not dwarf - 2004. slow growing and doing well
* Forsythia - 2005, and doing well in 2006.
* Eastern snowball - 2006, newly planted, we'll see how it does
* Mallow tree - 2006. perennial, delicate pink flowers on elongated stems.


Herbs


* Lavendar = 11
* Rosemary = 3
* Oregano = 3
* Sage = 2
* Basil - annual
* Marjoram - didn't make it
* new herb, need name, haven't used before
* Parsley - annual
* Chives - doing well
* Mint - planted in ground 2006
* Catnip - excellent for perennial w/ purple flowers
* Salt and Spice herb - annual
* Tarragon - 2006 not doing well
* Thyme - have planted from nursery twice, died both times 2005, 2006.



Rock Garden


Planted rock garden in 2004. In it's third year in 2006, it is looking very nice.

* Sedums, will try to list names of varieties.
- candy tuft = white flowers
- autumn joy = rust color tops in Autumn
- usual array, names not known.
* Lavender - three varieties. Cotton lavender is magnificent as it sprawls and crawls all over the rocks.
* Dracenia - from a small plant to a spectacular centerpiece - sharp and pointed up growing stems.
* Forthsythia - bush, I know, and probably not best at rock garden, but I love to see that first yellow of spring from kitchen window. Planted 2005.

2006, extended the beds in rock garden area as adding additional plants.

* poker plant
* achillibe
* coral bells or lily of the valley
* elephant ears plant (bulb)
* ground cover (purple flower - need name)
* another lavender plant
* rock garden evergreen - yellow flowers (need name)
* rock rose - pink flowers
* iris bulbs (transplants, likely won't leave in this bed)
* perennial white flowers (need name)
* autumn joy sedum
* upright blue flowering perennial (know name, can't recall - need)
* delphinium - slugs ate





Vegetable Garden

2004


* Radishes (Good)
* Lettuce (Good)
* Spinach (Good, but won't grow it again)
* Onions (Good)
* Tomatoes (Great)
* Corn (Good)
* Zucchini Squash (Great)
* Summer Squash (Great)
* Acorn and Winter Squash (Great)
* Pumpkins (Great)
* Cucumbers (Great)
* Cauliflower (way too big a plant, won't grow it again)
* Wax beans (Great)
* Eggplant (didn't grow, season too short?)
* Watermelon (didn't grow, season too short or not hot enough?)
* Green Peppers (Great)



2005

Same as above with new additions;

* Beets
* Turnips
* Snap Peas
* Green Beans
* Elephant Garlic
* Carrots
* Lima Beans
* Elephant Garlic


2006


Same as previous years but miserable failure of entire garden this year.
- Elephant garlic did well in it's 2nd yr.
- beets growing large and well.
- radishes growing well as usual.
- tomato plant from nursery producing
- all else failed this year, slugs ate the tender plants. twice planted zucchini, squash, cucumbers and slugs got every one. Also neighbor gave me well rooted zucchini and cucumbers and slugs got those also..

- new challenge and problem; combatting slugs! I have been reluctant to kill slugs in previous years, but with the end of last season and this season (2006), I can't afford to be so merciful.

- new challenge; the borage/comfrey I planted from seed in 2004 came back again in 2005, but in 2006 it was popping up all over the actual vegetable garden space and in rock garden bed. Researching it, seems it has that characteristic, has some underground growing mechanism, and is next to impossible to entirely get rid of once it starts that system. Groan -- been trying to rid of the perpetual creeping buttercup and creeping morning glory and wound up planting another permanent creeper. Had I known, never would have planted. What have I wrought with one package of seeds?!



Berries


* Strawberries = 6 in 2004; 3 lived, bought 3 more 2005; doing well in 2006 although so far few to no strawberries. Time to transplant to more permanent space.




Compost and Fertilizer



* kitchen compost, scraps
* purchased bags compost
* Used Sam's last year 2004. Miracle Gro this year 2005. None 2006.
* Using purchased top soil both years, split bag one year; garden space this year.




Seeds and Preserving Seeds


* Sunflowers
* Green Pepper
* Cucumber
* Zucchini
(great, but I've misplaced and can't locate the preserved seed packets in 2006)





Roses


* 1 miniature in 2004 w/ red, pink, coral roses on one bush
* 3 packaged root climbing roses 2004, 1 yellow Peace Rose, 1 traditional climber with small pink roses and 1 hasn't bloomed yet so don't remember it's rose color yet. It bloomed, and is a deep burgundy.
* Bought 3 more packaged root rose bushes 2005; planted in front bed, 2 lived = pink buds and yellow buds but coral buds died.
* Bought another root rose 2006 for front bed; it's struggling.
* Bought climber, yellow, to plant in raised railroad tie bed as permanent anchor. Now have permanent hydrangea, permanent climbing rose, permanent catmint, permanent yarrow. And permanent lavender in the brick post column.



Indoor Plants


* Spider plants
* Jade plant
* Rattail cactus (died)
* Flowering cactus
* Philodendrom
* Scheffelaria (bush size now, 5 yrs old)




Propagating


* Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree = 3, already 2 died, premature cutting away from mother
* Spider plants
* Yarrow, volunteers from seed blowing
* 2006, tried again, most all failed. Cotton lavender may have taken; pussy willow tree (my Mother's yard) may taken, cedar shrub may have taken.




Garden journal at Dave's Garden and also at Wee Garden website.




Decorating Yard n Garden



* old shoes, planter
* storebought stakes w/ ornaments
* decorative trellis = 2
* windchimes
* swirls
* stepping stones
* yard sales/flea market items as bowls, urns, baskets, old garden gloves



Weeds and Pests


Arghh on the Slugs! Also the creeping buttercups.

2006 pix of yard progress since Nov 2002.

We bought this house in Nov 2002. Now in 2006, I have an acquisition of photos that show changes in the yard. Photos below are from 2006. I will need to backtrack to add slideshow photos from previous years.


RockYou slideshow | View | Add Favorite



We bought this house in Nov 2002. In Spring 2003, began work in the yard, very modest beginning, mostly adding a few annuals, some containers, cutting back rhodies and some other overgrown mature specimens. For vegetable garden, I used split-bag topsoil, planting seeds directly into the split bags.

In Spring 2004, work in earnest began to shape up the yard, retaining the flavor of the original owners vision. Also did not want to take out, prune, remove plants until we knew what they were - using that axiom to wait a year and see what's what.

In Spring 2005, more work in earnest, serious pruning, removing, and began actually rearranging, creating and starting to claim yard more to our vision, rather than preserving integrity of original owners vision. Learned original owners stopped living in the house, using on occasional weekends, so yard upkeep had lost it's shaping over the years.

In Spring 2006, we are now engaged in claiming the yard as our own. We have been one-income family since May 2003 when I left my career employment. It has put a serious damper on spending so working the yard has been on extremely frugal budget.
Patience and bit by bit, plant by plant, back-breaking labor, we are very gradually getting somewhere towards our yet unrealized vision for the yard and house.


RockYou slideshow | View | Add Favorite

by Lietta Ruger

Wee Garden Inventory of plants; Bay Center house


Zones, Planting Seasons,


Calendar In the Sunset Western Garden Book (1996, 2001, Sunset Pub. Corp., Menlo Park, Calif.), the western U.S. is divided into 24 Climate Zones. These Climate Zones do NOT correspond to the USDA Hardiness Zones.

Zone 5

Marine Influence Along the Northwest Coast Mild ocean air bring relatively warm winters in this Zone. Minimum temperatures range from 28o to 1o F, although in some year a "big freeze" can cause considerable damage to plants. Zone 5 extends from the Puget Sound area in Washington, including Seattle and Tacoma, south along the Pacific Coast to north of Brookings, Oregon, including Astoria, Newport, Coos Bay.



Perennials


* Delphinium - twice over the years and both eaten by slugs
* Asiatic Lillies -transplanted and they died
* Calla Lilly - grrr, of 5 planted, only one has come back
* Daisies - tall variety, transplanted, doing well
* Carnation - doing well
* Snapdragon - does well
* pansies - does well
* dusty miller - does well
* iris - does quite well
* gladiolas - doing well
* calendula orange flowers - not perennials, but have blooms into winter
* primroses - does well
* ranunculous flowers, red, yellow, white - slugs ate them
* heliotrope - not perennial, an annual, and nice choice
* tulips - after 3 yrs, looks like tulips bloomed this year
* daffodils - does well
* Columbine - volunteered in 2005 and doing well in 2006.
* Foxglove - didn't come back, trying again this year with new plant.
* Creeping Buttercups - arghh, like weeds, bane of my garden beds.
* Lavender - many varieties
* Rosemary - evergreen actually, and grows to bush size
* sedum varieties
* Hibiscus - 2 plants 2006, planted front rose bed
* Bleeding Heart - white; planted 2006, shaded back side of yard.
* Dahlia - 2 plants 2005; died.



Annuals



* pansies - does well
* petunias - does well
* cosmos - does well
* sunflowers - slugs eat, russian mammoth spectacle if can keep slugs from it
* marigolds - does well
* strawflowers - does well
* geraniums - does well
* allysum - does well
* baby's breath .. white flowers
* begonias - does well



Bulbs and Rhizones



* iris - doing great
* calla lillies - finicky
* asian lillies - died
* easter lillies - died
* gladiolas - doing well
* hosta - 4 plants disappeared,slugs or died
* hosta type in planters
* tulips..lost them, didn't produce again. oops reappeared in 3rd yr



Trees


* Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree
* Monkey Puzzle Tree
* Maple
* Weeping Norway Spruce
* Evergreen trees in back yard
* 10 dry root seedlings Natl Arbor membership - which in 4th yr are showing progress. Next spring if they flower, I can perhaps identify which is which. We lost the coloring chart. 3 in front yard, 2 in back yard so 5 of 10 of the tree roots made it.
* Mugho pines - planted 2 small starters this yr = 2006
* Japanese white flowering Mt Fuji - planted 2006
* Apple hybrid tree with 3 apple varieties on one tree - planted 2006. (will list varieties here)
* Eucalyptus - 2 trees. planted one in front yard 2006 and one in whiskey barrel planter end of 2005 season.



Shrubs and Bushes



* Rhodedendrons = Eight mature.
* barberry, a small tree or shrub w vivid yellow blossoms and red berries. Oh, why - husband pulled up when we were ignorant of what it was - total loss in trying to re-plant or propagage. Good news though, in the other bed, a shoot is coming up, so may still have a new barberry with it's internal yellow trunk - medicinal properties.
* Hydrangea = 3, and only 1 lived, 2004. It is doing well in it's third year
* Lilac = mature, but it is struggling. Lost 2 trunks in Fall 2005, new baby is coming up between remaining 2 trunks.
* Fuschia Tree - does very well, cautiosuly pruned in spring 2005, no need as it comes back in fullness. hard pruned spring 2006 and it still comes back in fullness.
* juniper - mature, tried to propagate 2006; not taking
* Weeping Norway Spruce - doing well
* Lacey Leaf Japanese Red Maple, not dwarf - 2004. slow growing and doing well
* Forsythia - 2005, and doing well in 2006.
* Eastern snowball - 2006, newly planted, we'll see how it does
* Mallow tree - 2006. perennial, delicate pink flowers on elongated stems.


Herbs


* Lavendar = 11
* Rosemary = 3
* Oregano = 3
* Sage = 2
* Basil - annual
* Marjoram - didn't make it
* new herb, need name, haven't used before
* Parsley - annual
* Chives - doing well
* Mint - planted in ground 2006
* Catnip - excellent for perennial w/ purple flowers
* Salt and Spice herb - annual
* Tarragon - 2006 not doing well
* Thyme - have planted from nursery twice, died both times 2005, 2006.



Rock Garden


Planted rock garden in 2004. In it's third year in 2006, it is looking very nice.

* Sedums, will try to list names of varieties.
- candy tuft = white flowers
- autumn joy = rust color tops in Autumn
- usual array, names not known.
* Lavender - three varieties. Cotton lavender is magnificent as it sprawls and crawls all over the rocks.
* Dracenia - from a small plant to a spectacular centerpiece - sharp and pointed up growing stems.
* Forthsythia - bush, I know, and probably not best at rock garden, but I love to see that first yellow of spring from kitchen window. Planted 2005.

2006, extended the beds in rock garden area as adding additional plants.

* poker plant
* achillibe
* coral bells or lily of the valley
* elephant ears plant (bulb)
* ground cover (purple flower - need name)
* another lavender plant
* rock garden evergreen - yellow flowers (need name)
* rock rose - pink flowers
* iris bulbs (transplants, likely won't leave in this bed)
* perennial white flowers (need name)
* autumn joy sedum
* upright blue flowering perennial (know name, can't recall - need)
* delphinium - slugs ate





Vegetable Garden

2004


* Radishes (Good)
* Lettuce (Good)
* Spinach (Good, but won't grow it again)
* Onions (Good)
* Tomatoes (Great)
* Corn (Good)
* Zucchini Squash (Great)
* Summer Squash (Great)
* Acorn and Winter Squash (Great)
* Pumpkins (Great)
* Cucumbers (Great)
* Cauliflower (way too big a plant, won't grow it again)
* Wax beans (Great)
* Eggplant (didn't grow, season too short?)
* Watermelon (didn't grow, season too short or not hot enough?)
* Green Peppers (Great)



2005

Same as above with new additions;

* Beets
* Turnips
* Snap Peas
* Green Beans
* Elephant Garlic
* Carrots
* Lima Beans
* Elephant Garlic


2006


Same as previous years but miserable failure of entire garden this year.
- Elephant garlic did well in it's 2nd yr.
- beets growing large and well.
- radishes growing well as usual.
- tomato plant from nursery producing
- all else failed this year, slugs ate the tender plants. twice planted zucchini, squash, cucumbers and slugs got every one. Also neighbor gave me well rooted zucchini and cucumbers and slugs got those also..

- new challenge and problem; combatting slugs! I have been reluctant to kill slugs in previous years, but with the end of last season and this season (2006), I can't afford to be so merciful.

- new challenge; the borage/comfrey I planted from seed in 2004 came back again in 2005, but in 2006 it was popping up all over the actual vegetable garden space and in rock garden bed. Researching it, seems it has that characteristic, has some underground growing mechanism, and is next to impossible to entirely get rid of once it starts that system. Groan -- been trying to rid of the perpetual creeping buttercup and creeping morning glory and wound up planting another permanent creeper. Had I known, never would have planted. What have I wrought with one package of seeds?!



Berries


* Strawberries = 6 in 2004; 3 lived, bought 3 more 2005; doing well in 2006 although so far few to no strawberries. Time to transplant to more permanent space.




Compost and Fertilizer



* kitchen compost, scraps
* purchased bags compost
* Used Sam's last year 2004. Miracle Gro this year 2005. None 2006.
* Using purchased top soil both years, split bag one year; garden space this year.




Seeds and Preserving Seeds


* Sunflowers
* Green Pepper
* Cucumber
* Zucchini
(great, but I've misplaced and can't locate the preserved seed packets in 2006)





Roses


* 1 miniature in 2004 w/ red, pink, coral roses on one bush
* 3 packaged root climbing roses 2004, 1 yellow Peace Rose, 1 traditional climber with small pink roses and 1 hasn't bloomed yet so don't remember it's rose color yet. It bloomed, and is a deep burgundy.
* Bought 3 more packaged root rose bushes 2005; planted in front bed, 2 lived = pink buds and yellow buds but coral buds died.
* Bought another root rose 2006 for front bed; it's struggling.
* Bought climber, yellow, to plant in raised railroad tie bed as permanent anchor. Now have permanent hydrangea, permanent climbing rose, permanent catmint, permanent yarrow. And permanent lavender in the brick post column.



Indoor Plants


* Spider plants
* Jade plant
* Rattail cactus (died)
* Flowering cactus
* Philodendrom
* Scheffelaria (bush size now, 5 yrs old)




Propagating


* Harry Lauder Walking Stick Tree = 3, already 2 died, premature cutting away from mother
* Spider plants
* Yarrow, volunteers from seed blowing
* 2006, tried again, most all failed. Cotton lavender may have taken; pussy willow tree (my Mother's yard) may taken, cedar shrub may have taken.




Garden journal at Dave's Garden and also at Wee Garden website.




Decorating Yard n Garden



* old shoes, planter
* storebought stakes w/ ornaments
* decorative trellis = 2
* windchimes
* swirls
* stepping stones
* yard sales/flea market items as bowls, urns, baskets, old garden gloves



Weeds and Pests


Arghh on the Slugs! Also the creeping buttercups.

entry by Lietta Ruger

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The house - 1886, thru the 1900's to present day 2006

Original house, 1886, saltbox structure, wood built on piers -- third house from the right in the photo. Church on right, preacher's house next to church, and what was then the original house (with white picket fence). I've heard different accounts as to when the house was built - 1886, 1887, 1892. Whichever of those years it was built in, it is still standing sturdy over a century later and that's something!




The first modifications to the house in early 1900's. Added was the second story level cupola, and the two large bay windows on side of the house. The porch remains, and the white picket fence remains. House originally built by the Miller's; her daughter married Harry Bochau and they became the owners of the house. Harry Bochau was a barge builder by trade and added the architectual details of the second story cupola and the two bay windows on the side of the house. Mrs. Bochau was pleased with the additions and called her house a chateau. It came to be known in the community as the Bochau Chateau.



Lower left hand photo and you can see the baby Monkey Puzzle Tree that was planted then. As this is a community on Willapa Bay, it was more so then that all the communities on the bay commerced by boat, ferry and ships. When the ships would sail into this community, Mrs. Bochau would go down to meet and greet the ship and boat captains, invite them to dinner, while others in the community would do likewise for the rest of the crew. One ship captain had monkey puzzle trees from Chile, South America, on his ship and gifted one of the trees to Mrs. Bochau (so I'm told the story goes). When we bought the house, the monkey puzzle tree she planted was still there and 92 yrs old. But our saga of the monkey puzzle tree is for another blog entry and I'll tell that story another time.



The house as it is today after several more modifications and additions by the 3 owners who followed the Bochau's. This is the house in 2003, not quite one year after we bought it.

entry by Lietta Ruger - the woman of the house

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Plus and Minus concerns in buying the house

Identifying plus elements and problem issues when considering buying this house. We began our house-hunting in Aug 2002.

Plus

-- quiet neighborhood, quiet community, not even one store in the whole village!
-- attractive tiled tin roof (pacific nw rains = cost saver for roofing woes!)
-- upgrades give house old and new decor mix without compromising historical context
-- repetitious bay windows give light and let the outdoors inside
-- structurally sound, initial cost outlay for structurally improvements minimal
-- built on additions in kitchen and master bedroom provide spacious rooms for those areas
-- upstairs rooms haven't been upgraded much, historical feel to the rooms, throwback to early 1900's
-- yard is manageable with some mature focus specimen plantings
-- architecture of house w/ additions gives it unique look
-- wiring updated and up to code
-- plumbing is satisfactory
-- basement = spooky but Arthur finds it fascinating
-- price is right for our budget


Concerns


-- berber carpet on main floor rooms is beyond salvaging, so badly stained, unlikely can get cleaned = deal w/ flooring.
-- renovations seem structurally sound, little attention to finishing details however, gives it gerry-rigged appearance
-- renovations done in 1970's give seriously dated and tired look = stairs, upstairs flooring like glue down carpeting - 70's restaraunt era; brown shag on stairs -yuck!
-- heating; primary heat is a newly installed wood-burning furnace under the house w/ chimney that screams at me'unsafe'. secondary heating; registers installed in each room, inadequate in some rooms to heat the space.
-- decking on which addition has been builtwill need immediate attention, peeling rubber cement exposes wood to Pacific NW rains.
-- front of house; not welcome, functional, or practical entry. Needs a porch and front door re-do
-- back porch - enclosed and rusticly 'finished' also unwelcome and serves as main entrance to the house due to the impractical front entrance planning.
-- unclear once carpets pulled up, what lies beneath = prepare for cost outlay
-- kitchen could use an update, was updated to 1970's cosmetics, but is more than adequate for years until we have cost outlay $$


Generally speaking, there are about even number of drawbacks as there are positives that make this house worth considering. Biggest drawback is that house would benefit from renovations and improvements w/ cost outlay - not likely in our budget.

Thus, after carefully considering if I could live in the house 'as is' for perhaps years until we could get to renovations/improvements, I honestly wasn't sure and thought we should continue to keep looking. My dear husband is more of a handyman than he is into renovations or improvements, so unlikely we could knowledgeably take on too many diy projects. My husband became instantly enchanted with the house, and while I was also 'enchanted' by what I could see in my mind as what the house might look like 'someday', I was concerned about what it looks like present day and our capability w/ diy improvements. The diy upgrades and improvements made to the house look like diy .. sometimes gone wrong or unfinished.

We discussed, and discussed, while I fed my fears and Arthur tried to reassure my every concern. We decided to buy the house, inspections came back approved for wiring, plumbing, septic, structure and whatever else gets inspected in mortgage arrangements. Nov 2002 is when we moved into the house. If we had the resources to take care of some of the improvement projects before moving in, might have been a better way to go, but that is why it is an adventure and now in 2006, we both love living in this house!

entry by Lietta Ruger - the woman of the house!