Share Your World Weeks 18 &19 plus a bit of family fun!

This past week has been so much fun! ūüôā Jack (second son) ¬†arrived after Easter for a 6 day mini-vacation, and we’ve been alternately at the beach or binging on word games. ūüôā ¬† A few years ago we discovered Bananagrams–and shortly after that, ¬†Appletters–so whenever we’re together it’s game ON! ¬† However even hardcore “gamers” need a break, so on Saturday we joined several thousand other people for the¬†Hibiscus Festival!

Do you play video/computer games?  Which one(s) or most recent?

No, I don’t play any video games and neither does my daughter…but my boys do! However, I do play Words with Friends (on Facebook) with Jack. ūüôā

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

Pencil! But since I only have a rinky-dink, dollar store, half-a$$ed sharpener, I typically end up with a pen in my hand, instead! ūüôĄ

What has surprised you about blogging?

I knew I’d enjoy documenting the day to day minutiae of my life, but I didn’t think anyone else would ‚ě° ¬†I’ve been most surprised by “followers” and readers leaving comments!

If you had a shelf for your three most special possessions (not including people or animals), what would you put on it?

This one is very difficult, but three things I’d hate to lose are (in no particular order): a Police Tour T-shirt purchased for me by my kids in 2007 at ¬†Bonnaroo; a tray Maggie made for me featuring her High School Senior Portrait; my C. Crane am/fm shortwave pocket radio¬†on which I’ve listened to Coast to Coast AM (my all time, favorite, overnight radio show) for the past ten years. In fact, one night Jack called the show and got on!!! If you click this link ‚ě° ¬†Jack calls Coast to Coast radio, you’ll not only see the radio, you’ll hear the VERY cool on-air conversation!

Moving on to the next set of questions: Week 19, Share Your World!

Do you believe in ghosts?

Bigtime!!!! When we lived up north in our 1898 Queen Anne Victorian we DEFINITELY had a ghost living with us! ¬†The old Queen Annes have double width staircases and broad landings that allow for people to pass each other, climbing up and down. ¬†Many a time we (and our friends/guests) would feel a presence in this area, or catch a glimpse of fleeting shadows on the stairs…..Eerie!!! ¬† As I said in a previous blog post about “Hatman”¬† we may not know where, but the “truth is out there,” and I firmly believe in shadow people and ghosts!

What is your best recipe?

My chicken salad with fresh blueberries, chopped onions, chopped celery and feta cheese! ¬† There’s no actual recipe, though. ¬† Based on how many I’m feeding, I poach an appropriate quantity of chicken breast to cube after cooling. ¬†Then I throw the chicken cubes in a mixing bowl with the celery and onion I’ve pre-chopped as the chicken boiled; stir in the fresh blueberries, followed by 3/4 of the feta. ¬†The dressing is a mix of sour cream and mayonnaise in a one-to-one ratio that I’ve stirred REALLY well in a seperate mixing bowl. ¬† I scoop the dressing into the chicken/ingredient bowl, mixing thoroughly as I add. ¬†When it “looks right” ¬†I’m done! ¬†Then I sprinkle the remaining feta on top and chill it until either serving as is, or using as a sandwich filling. ¬† If I have leftover “dressing,” I scoop the remainder into a bowl to use later as a base for crudite/chip dip. ¬†(It stays “good” for approx 5 days, if refrigerated)

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

Origins Ginger Essence! ¬†I’ve been wearing it exclusively since learning about it on Oprah’s talk show in 2006!

What subject was your favorite in all of your schooling? Why?

Don’t laugh….6th grade world history, the chapter on the Greeks and their architecture! ¬†I remember the EXACT page numbers (72-73) and the details of the pictures showing the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. ¬†I’ve done numerous web searches over the years to track down the name of the textbook, but have come up empty. ¬†I’d love to see the entire book again and will buy it–regardless of price–when I locate the right edition!

Well that’s it for now, and as always, huge thanks go out to Cee, of Cee’s Life Photography¬†for bringing us all together via Share Your World!

As a final note, ¬†Jack flies back home tomorrow but my other son arrives for a 10 day stay on Saturday!!! ¬†Typically they travel here together, but their work schedules didn’t allow it this time around!

Until next time……


Nick the Node and Tiny Toad!

As I mentioned already,¬† Master Gardener classes began yesterday!¬†¬†After a brief orientation and student introductions, we received a Botany syllabus, along with related¬†handouts: Latin binomials, the international code of nomenclature, common Latin and Greek roots for the nomenclature, botanical families of importance, etc. etc… Sounds alot more complicated than it really is. We also got books and printed materials.

Class materialsMain textbook.

(Does¬†that newspaper say¬†Farmer and Ranchero?¬† It¬†didn’t…until I added the “O”¬† ūüėČ ūüėČ )

After lunch we had a lecture on Plant Identification, during which many native plants were passed around and discussed. The branch in the photo (above right) is from a wild coffee plant, which I took home to try propagating. Let me show you my typical process.

Although I’ve tried many specialty mediums over the years, I’ve found¬†mixing equal parts of these three gives me the best success NO MATTER what I’m rooting!

Rooting Mixture

Miracle Gro Garden Soil, Miracle Gro Cactus Soil and American Seed Starter Mix.  I also use a clay pot when rooting cuttings, on the assumption that breathable, porous containers are more nurturing of tiny emerging root hairs.

After filling the clay pot, thoroughly mix the soils together;  give it a really good soak and mix again.

Mixing the soils well!

Set the pot aside to finish residual draining while you work on your cuttings.¬† The books say to snip just below the node, but I’ve had better luck EVERY time I nick into the node a bit:

Nick the node!

Count up your cuttings. Using a pencil,¬†poke the same number of “holes” in your previously mixed soil.¬† Sprinkle some rooting hormone into the cap and lightly tap each cutting in the powder, until the end is well covered, like so:

Cuttings with Rooting Hormone

Place¬†the powder-covered¬†ends in¬†their corresponding holes: be careful…you don’t want¬†rooting hormone sloughing off¬†along the inside walls!¬† When you feel some resistance,¬†use your fingers to push dirt against¬†the¬†stems, working from¬†the bottom up,¬†’til they stand straight and¬†secure:

Coffee Plant Stem Cuttings

Because the coffee plant is tropical, I’ve shown a plastic bag behind it–use it¬†as a greenhouse “tent” to¬†ensure¬†adequate temperatures/humidity around the cuttings if your zone requires it.

Have you noticed a continuity issue¬†in the last few pictures?¬† I broke the God-damned clay pot in the middle of this little exercise!!!¬† Knocked it right off the stacked pavers I¬† use as¬†a work space and cracked it¬†in a bunch of pieces…dirt and all!!!¬†¬†Look closely at the last photo—-I repurposed the largest piece¬†as a prop¬†for the plastic bag!!!!¬† ūüôā

Moving along…..Remember how I told you about my love of fringe-science and all things Coast to Coast AM?¬† Today the Coast website has a news story about the discovery of the¬†tiniest frog in the world, Paedophryne amaunensis

The Paedophryne genus consists of a number of¬† species found in the eastern¬†sections¬†of Papua New Guinea, an area largely unexplored¬†due to the thickness of¬†its rainforests. You can read more about it here¬†or¬†here¬†but I’d surely be remiss if I didn’t share a picture of such a cute little friend:


Why am I on a dime?


Until next time…..

Weekly Photo Challenge: Self-Portrait

21st century science tells us¬†that electromagnetic fields can interfere with neural synapses in the human brain and theories abound regarding the results of these disruptions.¬† Did you really see that ghost/orb/entity or was it some strange hijacking of your brain’s communication center?¬†¬† What of¬†the odd, hazy¬†outline in your peripheral vision, the shadow person just beyond the corner of your eye? Many people have reported seeing the Mysterious Hat Man, a fleeting image in the¬†recesses of a dark room, who brings a¬†feeling of unease, of being watched, ¬†that lingers long after¬†his apparition is gone.

Mysterious Hatman

Thankfully, I haven’t seen this¬†ominous “person,” ¬†but I have caught sight of a different one!¬† When the light is just right–golden, late afternoon sunlight– I¬†sometimes see¬†a spectral vision,¬†haunting The Ranchero.

shadow woman

Mysterious Garden Lady

Last spring I was lucky enough ūüėȬ†to catch¬†the above image¬†via cellcam and post it to Facebook with the following caption:¬† “Do you believe in Shadow People?¬†I do!”

All joking aside, the message in the caption is why¬†this pic¬†is such an illustrative self-portrait:¬†I absolutely DO believe in the fringe-sciences–the left-of-mainstream stuff that brands alot of people as “crazies”–yet I know I’m absolutely sane!¬† ¬†ūüôā¬† ¬†Paranormal events, ESP, remote viewing, UFOs…the wonderful, hard-to-fathom¬†topics of Coast to Coast AM radio; these¬†are the¬†ideas to which¬†I gravitate in books, movies, and TV.

While searching¬†through my¬†computer today, I ran across an old Coast to Coast¬†audio file from the late ’90s when¬†Art Bell, the show’s originator and first host,¬†was in his heyday. .What you are about to hear¬†may be total theater or it may be total truth–who can say for certain??¬† But¬†without a doubt,¬†this¬†on air conversation¬†between Art¬† and a¬†pilot flying over Area 51 restricted¬†airspace is¬†100% entertaining!¬†¬†¬† Click this to listen!

Remember….The Truth is Out There!!

Until next time!!