ID 10 TS

I would like to give you pictures of the landscaping projects that are in process – – or have been accomplished….

Or show you how high the Jerusalem Artichokes and Sunflowers are, or how beautiful the fantabulously drought-tolerant Golden and Burgundy Amaranths are –

Alas – despite my best intentions, I had little website work in June and now, 3 sites to get up and out for approval by end of next week – –

An existing customer called a few days ago and asked for some documentation for their funding resource – seems what I previously provided was impressive in it’s low cost, but they’d like to have another meeting and have new pages that are clearly marked as to which phase we are doing when – –

They are dragging their feet – says I – They’ve had this information since April – – You continue to pay out of pocket each month, as they ask for more stats, watermarked estimates, etc…..

This is why any business I launch is paid for by me – – -too much time/trouble convincing investors and the time spent jumping through their hoops could be put to good use actually BUILDING something –

Alas, I always gravitate towards business ideas that rely on my own brain, skill, know-how and existing tool set – – Not everyone is so lucky – there are those grand ideas that need funding for buildings, equipment, R&D, prototypes, etc….

Now that you know the history, my customer advised, part way through the conversation, as I added the required text to each phase estimate and cut/pasted the documents into one long historical document, for their printing convenience, he said,

“Well, you just have to deal with ID 10 TS’s”

And, swear to gawd! I did not get it until I wrote it down – – Sheesh!  I need a vacation – – –

🙂

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I realized I had once more slipped into Dereliction of Duty status here at WordPress when Sue left a comment to check and make sure she wasn’t missing my new posts in her email inbox and to make sure I hadn’t died – – Thank You, Sue!   You make me feel so loved and cared for!

(Want to see amazing art and gardens?  Check out Sue’s slice of cyberspace!)

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And so, dear friends, neighbors and family here at WordPress – I’m once again working my tail off – trying to keep ahead of the curve ball and failing to take pictures of anything as I race from one project to another – –

But I’m doing my meditation and heat lamp treatments religiously – –

I’m only working a max of 14 hour at a time and making sure to get a good night’s sleep – –

And I’m slowly, but surely, implementing lessons learned from the past…

Except for how durn long it takes me to get caught up when I don’t log in and read every day!

🙂

Hope this finds you well and I’ll catch up with your world here soon – feel free to leave a comment, begging me not to leave 23 likes and 8 comments on your blog all at one time, at the end of July, when I can luxuriate in reading all day long once more …..

You ask and I swear, I’ll space them out to one a day – – 🙂

Free time & Snakeskins

As of yesterday, all wandering travelers had returned home and I’m once again responsible only for my little slice of heaven.   Which means I got 5, count ’em 5! hours in on my own projects today before the sun drove me indoors to the cool shadows of my home.

My home was built in 1913 – so sometime this year, I shall officially live in a 100 year-old home.  Those homes built long ago sure stay cooler than their modern counterparts!

I was sitting taking a break and pondering whether  to do just  a tad more or be good to my body and scoot indoors when Mr. GE drove by, waved, slowed and pulled over near my place.    I pulled out a stool and called out, offering lemon water, since last time I led him down the path of temptation by offering a beer.  You remember him, right?   Ran the gas station of my childhood and gardener extraordinaire.

He didn’t have time to stay and chat he said, but he did want to know if I’d ever seen a snakeskin.

Which I have – plenty of times during my youth and I even got to watch the shedding process once while visiting the zoo.

He reached to open his back passenger door, and I stepped back – about 10 feet –

“You don’t have a real snake in there, do ya?”

Laughing, he assured me that he didn’t, but he had never seen a completely whole snakeskin before (in his 85+ years, as he put it) and he had found not one, but two in the past week.

“Where at?” I asked, somewhat afraid of the answer…

“The cemetery.”   Oh…  Guess there was a reason I haven’t been visiting as often as I should…

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Mr. Phillips 66 with 5 and 6 feet long snakeskins
Mr. GE  with 5 and 6 feet long snake skins

Apparently, he had showed the skins to one neighbor lady already, who was not very knowledgeable about the subject, but eager to learn.    When she asked him how he got them, he told her,

“Well, I had a hold of ’em, but they just slipped right outta their skins to get away from me.  And wouldn’t ya know, she said, “Oh My!  That must have been exciting!”

I laughed and asked him if he sent her snipe hunting after he had finished telling her his tall tale.   He grinned and said ‘No…”

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After snapping some pics of the snake skins, Mr. Phillips 66 set about sharing some stories.  While I didn’t record the stories, I will do my best to tell you as they were told to me…

“I had killed plenty of snakes in my youth, mainly rattlers I came across from working the cattle, you know.   One year we went on over to Pueblo for the State Fair.   It was during the war, you know and I saw a tent with a sign, “Hitler’s Children” and since it didn’t cost much, I went in to see what it was all about.   There was this big plastic ring in the middle of the tent, with two women that looked to be from India and a whole mess of snakes.   And they was a pickin’ em up and holdin’ them and it liked to make the hairs on the back of my neck crawl.

Well, they almost got themselves into trouble.   One of them was holding a rope about yea long and she flipped that rope over and it landed across my neck and I liked to wrecked the whole tent trying to get outta there.”

Then  I shared a snake story, which isn’t near as good and then he countered with:

“When I was running the station, one day E.M stopped by and asked me to check the oil, and check under the hood.   I was stumped as to why he’d ask me to do such simple things as he and his brother took care of all the maintenance of their farm equipment and were probably better mechanics than I ever was.

Turns out, E.M. and his brother had found an ole bull snake and had messed with it, teasing it, seein’ as how it wasn’t poisonous.  But it had crawled up onto the chassis of the truck and they couldn’t get it outta there.

While I’m checking the oil and messin’ with his truck, in pulls a carload of gals from New York City.  In them days, the ladies room was accessed by a door over there, back on the east side.   Well they all piled out and started headin’ toward the ladies room, just about the time that snake, ticked off over his long ride (E.M. had driven all the way in from H’s place with that durn snake in his chassis.) decided to bail from the truck.

He hit the ground and beat his way straight for that group of ladies.    His head was nearly a foot off the ground and he was movin’ like lightening.

Well, I tell you, I’ve never heard so much screaming and carrying on in my life.   Them gals liked to kilt each other trying to get outta the way of that big bull snake.

And I don’t think there was any need for the ladies room after that commotion, neither…”

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These are the kinds of things that make me so grateful for the life I have.    I’ve missed having neighbors stop by and tell me stories.   I’ve missed having drop in’s that are happy to sit or stand in the yard and chew the fat for awhile, rather than those who make you wish you had done less landscaping and more housecleaning.

The morning has passed – I’m into rest mode and I have a spot all cleaned up and ready to transplant the extra blue flax, pretty-purple-wildflower (yes, I forgot the name) and spearmint Mom’s wanting to rip out of her symmetrically designed flower bed.  The cactus is getting ready to bloom and the sunflowers planted last week have poked their way out of the ground.

It’s been a wonderful day.

Sunflowers have made their appearance!
Sunflowers have made their appearance!
Ready for self-seeding perennial transplants.
Ready for self-seeding perennial transplants.
Cactus soon to bloom
Cactus soon to bloom

First Planted Area

Ta-Da!   Due to cooler weather and more energy, I finally finished a project started some weeks ago!   This area project was designed to fulfill the following needs:

  • Introduce sloping grade away from house instead of the water catching trench the stucco guys left
  • Protect the stucco, while providing an area for growing things
  • Handle the run-off from the roof, until I get the gutters installed, should we ever get rain again.
  • Provide growing space for tall annual plants that will shade the west wall so my house is not such a furnace from 3 pm until 10 at night AND do not need growing support in the way of lattice work/pergola’s because I have other plans for this area – – eventually.

After messing around with this for some weeks and having two plans not work out, here’s what I settled upon as the solution for the first two issues:

Like My Life A Work in Progress
Like My Life
A Work in Progress

And after many weeks of working 15-20 minutes at a time, I have two-tiers of blocks, rammed firm with sand, second tier slope all news papered and mulched, planted with Mammoth Head sunflowers, red sunflowers and at the very, very front area – a slew of those teeny-tiny white and pink alyssium seeds which defy planting by hand. Salt shaker and a gentle raking and we’ll see how it goes.

Finally!  One project done - 14 million left to go!
Finally! One project done – 14 million left to go!

I put up a temporary fence to protect the area from Oakley, as she just loves digging in the dirt – until she understands you’re trying to grow stuff in it – 🙂

I now have nearly 60 square feet of the place in maintenance mode – (I try not to think how many square feet are left to go – it would just depress me!)

Iris Bed in Maintenance Mode
Iris Bed in Maintenance Mode

On a rather quieting note, as I spread my wonderful mulch around, transported from my pile hauled in last year, it occurred to me I may not be able to get this wonderful, economical mulch again anytime soon.

For you see, this mulch comes from the Black Forest Slash and Mulch program and it is located in the heart of the current Black Forest Fire Zone.

I checked their website this a.m. and no updates indicating they are burnt to the ground, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

This program allows residents to bring in their ‘clean-up’ debris from their home place, where it is chipped and piled into large stacks of mulch.   During the summer, as long as you are a non-commercial entity, you can back your truck up and shovel all the free mulch you want.   On Saturdays, you can donate $4 and sit in your truck while the on-site loader fills your bed.

Because our soil out here on the eastern plains tends to be a tad on the alkaline side, this mulch is perfect for so many applications.

I’m really hoping the mulch program place escaped harm – I prefer this kind of mulch over the bagged kind you can purchase for so many different reasons.

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Funny how 10 degrees difference and cloud cover had such a fantastic impact on how much I got done outdoors today.  I actually worked steady for nearly 2 1/2 hours and we are now starting on our second tier of tires for the south perimeter fence.  Which means we are nearing 50 tires done in the project.

There’s such a quiet satisfaction in moving things from the “Material Area” to “Permanent Spot in the Landscaping Plan”.

My heart is light and my mind cheerful as I take a break from being in the great outdoors – had to share my joy!