Earth Day, April 22, 2015, Grapevine, TX

•April 22, 2015 • 10 Comments


Let’s take care of Earth, together, Globally.

Earth Day, 2015


Green, with a forecast of wet.

Green, with a forecast of wet.

Here comes, Rico!

Here comes, Rico!

Loving life!

Loving life!

Ready to burst into bloom soon!

Ready to burst into bloom soon!

Partial view of the Butterfly Garden.

Partial view of the Butterfly Garden.

Shading our existence, in a canopy of green.

Shading our existence, in a canopy of green.  (View from the upper area of the deck..)

Happy Earth Day, 2015!

Happy Earth Day, 2015!

The Shocking Truth! April 24, 2015

•April 21, 2015 • 7 Comments


I was living the dream,

working away in my little garden spot

and then Marsha arrived…



Prepare for the unthinkable…


Mini-Mondo (extension) prep site.
Mini-Mondo Grass (extension), prep site.

And then my friend Marsha showed up, in a tizzy and he//bent on getting an explanation from me.  I’m not proud of the fact that I hurt her feelings.  Seriously.  As she ranted and raved about my rendezvous with her husband, I found myself helpless to defend my actions.  Finally, I’d had enough.  I grabbed my shovel and shoved it towards her.  I have to warn you, the following photos may prove a bit unsettling to some of you, for that, I’m sorry.



It was all too much for her, as Hannah arrived to explain, Marsha fainted! Click on the pic. (Evidence)
It was all too much for her, as Hannah arrived to explain, Marsha fainted!
Click on the pic. (Evidence)
I felt eyes on me for the rest of the afternoon.

When she came to, this is where she found herself.  And as the sun was setting , there was still no sign of Mortimer.  




Butterfly or Moth Larvae?

•April 19, 2015 • 4 Comments


I placed the straw mulch in the garden yesterday.  Heavy wind and thunderstorms were forecast for early evening.  While I worked, I was cautious around the dill and fennel plants.  Those particular plants play host to the Swallowtail, a strikingly beautiful butterfly!

I noted that all the plants were vacant, but also recalled what I had witnessed last Spring. Those Larvae are wise to the weather.  One day I noted one lounging about on a plant, and as storms approached the creature went into hiding.  The next afternoon I found him back amidst his host.

It was late afternoon when I saw this particular, beautiful specimen.  He was lounging in the planter, in a part of the deck area that is roofed, munching and crunching away within the Bizzy-Lizzie’s (better known as Impatiens).

Tomorrow I’ll venture back to his home site and see how things are going.  My hope is to see him flitting about the butterfly garden once the blooms are heavy-set.

Last week there was  a Giant Swallowtail feeding within the Pittosporum tree.  A yellow and brown one, my first to see!  Generally the black and blue marked swallowtail are frequenting the beds, along with the Monarch, and yellow and white moths at this time of year.

Nature's artwork.  Butterfly or moth larvae, hiding within the Impatiens.

Nature’s artwork. Butterfly or moth larvae, hiding within the Impatiens.


Nature's majestic beauty.

Beauty, defined by Nature.


Clutching, or should I say, "Hanging on for dear life?"

Clutching, or should I say, “Hanging on for dear life?”


ETA:  Unknown.

ETA: Unknown.

(Bucket List) … I’m a Snake Wrangler!

•April 16, 2015 • 17 Comments

Yep, it was there on my list!  Only a few knew it existed, but today I placed a check mark next to that item.  My special thanks to Grapevine, TX.,  Animal Services Officer Michael Owens.

Like most Spring days, there were chores needing done in my garden.  Initially, I set out to find a spot in the yard that would offer enough sunlight for a volunteer Crape Myrtle tree. Discovering a spot that offered enough sunlight (they need a good amount to ensure beautiful blooms), I set about to dig the volunteer up from an area under a fir-tree.  Since I compost my oak leaves to use as mulch and a food source for bushes and trees, it took me a minute to move debris, only to find that my baby seedling was growing directly against some steel edging.  No problem, I’ll just ‘shrink’ myself into the area and easily work the shovel, careful so as not to damage any more root than necessary.  I got that little jewel out of the area and deposited her in her new home.  Backtracking, I carried a shovel of compost to fill in the hole from whence she came.

Oh my heavens!  As I went to fill the hole I discovered a visitor had arrived.  Standing there, halfway between elation and mortification, I began conversing with myself and all of nature.  Suddenly, I came to my senses and zipped my way into the screened in porch for a bucket.  Flying nearly as the speed of light, I arrived back at the hole and found my friend enjoying the sunken livingroom my digging had provided.  I worked quickly with my shovel and carefully hoisted the beauty into my bucket.  Thank goodness the bucket was actually a cat litter container with a handy lid.  

Officer Owens & Mortimer

Officer Owens & Mortimer

Officer Owens explaining identification markers.

Officer Owens explaining identification markers.

Beautiful markings!

Beautiful markings!

Running to the house, I grabbed my phone and dialed up my girlfriend.  No answer.  Quickly I called another friend only to discover that she and her hubby are fighting nasty cold infections.  Checking to see if I could bring my friends some juice or food, and learning they were covered, I told my girlfriend I had an emergency, of the fun kind, and had hoped she could join me.  I’d call her later with an update.

I had actually called Animal Control initially, and asked if they were open and if there might be a staff member who could identify a snake for me?

“Sure, bring it on in!”

Okay.  The excitement is mounting.  Well, okay, maybe I’m living the dream and this feels like your worst kind of nightmare.  No worries.  After all, this is my Bucket List item, or at least it’s about to be.

I try calling my other girlfriend back.  Her hubby answers, and by now I am in mania mode, but somehow explain with frenzied excitement about the treasure dig discovery.

“Is it dead?”

“No, but I sure wish I knew if it was just a little garden snake, or if it’s poisonous!  He appears to have a triangular-shaped head.  Aren’t those indications of a poisonous snake?”

“I’m on my way with the hoe!”

“No!  I don’t want you to kill it, I just want to find out what kind it is and wanted to know if Linda wanted to go with me to Animal Control?”

He arrives with his hoe, ready for action.  I told him things were safe.  He said:

“Do you need more duck tape for that lid?” jokingly.  We chided back and forth and then I opened the possible, ‘Pandora’s Box.’

We stood there admiring a rather docile, and surely confused serpent.  Well, maybe only one of us three humans was wistfully hoping the best was yet to come.

Girlfriend and I jumped in the car, carefully being sure the lid is secured with the duct tape back in place.  A shot across town and we arrive at, The Animal Shelter/Services Office, introducing  myself to the receptionist as the lady who had phoned earlier about a snake.

“Is it dead?”

“Oh no, he’s right here, alive, in this bucket.”

“Well, I don’t care to see it, but I’ll find someone who can help you.”

And off she went, returning with Animal Services Officer, Michael Owens.

Officer Owens arrives and gently takes the bucket for a look-and-see.  The brave man even puts his hand directly into the bucket and retrieves our new-found friend.  Right away he confirms to Linda and I that we have a non-poisonous snake.  He gives us some excellent tips on what to look for as a means for quick reference as he holds the snake both top, and bottom side.

Finally, I went for the golden opportunity of a lifetime, explaining that I’d always wanted to overcome my fear of snakes, I asked Officer Owens for his assistance.

“I’d like to hold it.”

He smiled and offered it to me, and I found myself carefully taking it from him.

Mortimer and I are bonding.

Mortimer and I are bonding.

My hope is that those who read this will consider taking a chance and try something they have always dreamed of doing, but fear has kept them at bay.  I’m certainly not advocating life-threatening actions; I’m talking about a supervised, safe environment where you get to challenge yourself.

My sincere thanks to Officer Michael Owens, and to my dear neighbors and friends, Linda and Jim.  Mortimer, our snake, is back home, deposited in his newly sunken living room, with a fresh rooftop made from organic compost  His wife is probably questioning his sudden departure this morning, but the fact that he finally attacked that honey-do list may just keep him safe.  I know I will.









Organically yours, April 14, 2015

•April 14, 2015 • 2 Comments


Bluebonnet, Daylilies, Mint & Swiss Chard seedling trying her best.

Bluebonnet, Daylilies, Mint & a baby Swiss Chard seedling hanging on for dear life!

Beans prepping for take-off;  "NASA, we have a GO"!

Beans prepping for take-off; “NASA, we have a GO!”

Circling deliciousness.  Tomatoes & Eggplants amidst a feeding and watering station.

Circling deliciousness. Tomatoes & Eggplants amidst feeding and watering stations.  Onions at curbside.

Nelly Moser Clematis, faded color, stunted growth.  We must educate the gardener.

Nelly Moser Clematis, faded color, stunted growth. We must educate this gardener.

Tomatoes and Pole Beans charging forward.

Tomatoes and Pole Beans charging forward.

Forward, the herb garden.  Trailing Rosemary, baby Basil,thyme, Greek Oregano & Sage.

Forward, the herb garden:  Trailing Rosemary, baby Basil, Thyme, Greek Oregano & Sage.

Dill nursery planted for the Swallowtail Butterflies.  Cherry Tomato plant, already fruited!

Dill nursery planted for the Swallowtail Butterflies. Cherry Tomato plant, already fruited!

"This dog ain't goin' nowhere, and neither is that pile of sand!"

“Hello and welcome to my garden.”

Story of My Life Challenge…Etched upon my heart…

•April 12, 2015 • Leave a Comment


This is a re-blog of a post I wrote about my personal struggle with Postpartum Psychosis.  Too many women suffer in shame and silence, sometimes lost to the point that they are unable to help themselves.  I was rescued by two women who saved my life, but more importantly, my daughter, Megan’s.


The stigma of Mental Illness imprisons the heart and soul of the afflicted, it wraps that heavy burden around the yoke of all who know and love them too.  Shame keeps people from seeking help.  Acknowledging that you need help keeps so many of us from seeking the very help we need.

Society still doesn’t know what to do with us.  Once upon a time they simply just locked us up and threw away the key.  Today?  I know what I can do.  I can tell you about my personal experience in hopes that you are encouraged to share your story.  If we give a voice to our struggle we empower others to do the same.  If we talk, we save ourselves and others from feeling so alone.  United, we may just find a way to break the cycle of shame and stigma associated with Mental Illness.



Originally posted on CoffeeGrounded's Blog:

Jenni, It’s Day 31, and a Friday.  Somehow I managed to write for all 31 days of your May Challenge (although, somehow a post of mine is time-stamped for the last day of April?…we’ll count it anyway, okay girlfriend?  Thanks, I knew you would understand).

Today’s post, our last one, is writing about:

“A Vivid Memory”

This may take me all of today and well into the night.  I had written in an earlier post that I would revisit something.  I made a special promise to my oldest daughter.  And today is the day I fulfill that promise.  It began the day that she was born.


She arrived three weeks early.  And, just like any new child’s arrival she came without a warranty clause, a type-written instruction manual and no return address label.

I’d practiced the natural birthing process, The Bradley method.  The 8.25 months of pregnancy went without a…

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I Was The Kind of Kid Who…

•April 9, 2015 • 4 Comments

Originally posted on Mallory Can't Even:


I was the kind of kid who entered to be in the Lisa Frank catalog ultimate fan section numerous times (as seen above), only to be outdone by other children who probably didn’t look like they were aiming for the “Nick Nolte mugshot” when styling their hair that day.

I was the kind of kid who was emotionally invested in the television show Cheers.

I was the kind of kid who had zero athletic ability, and who did so poorly during 7th grade basketball tryouts, lost out to a girl who straight up vomited during the tryout and still made it.

I was the kind of kid who used to reenact the Mary Katherine Gallagher sketches from SNL at school and then be politely asked to stop by a teacher.

I was the kind of kid who once wrote a letter to American Girl asking them to lower their prices because they were…

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