Friday, May 30, 2008


We got the vegetables in tonight. Yeah! Two varieties of corn, two varieties of beans, peas, beets, watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber, two varieties of sweet pepper, four varieties of tomato, and a butternut squash. What I did not put in and want to are a summer squash, like yellow crook-neck, and potatoes. I couldn't find seed potatoes anywhere. Some people don't carry them, but the places that usually do were out. I wonder if I am not the only person feeling that this is a very good year to be growing some of our own food?
I threw a few more flower seeds in with the vegetables, just for fun, but the center garden bed is completely empty. Our tiller wasn't yet serviced and running so I bought a tilling job at the church auction. When he came over to do it the gentleman was overwhelmed by the size of our garden beds, so I just had him do the two side beds and left the larger center bed un-tilled. With no children at home I probably don't need that many vegetables anyway, and I can take the year to feed the soil. The soil was very hard since I wasn't here adding tons of grass clippings, leaves, and compost over the last few years.
Now I need to get all the weeds out of the raspberries before they go to seed. One weed goes to seed and you pay for it for years to come!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Golden Rain

The smell of iris' in bloom means summer to me, comfort, happiness, trips to grandma's house. The iris are in bloom. So are the wisteria. Their scent is so heady it is almost too much to take, rather like narcissi forced to bloom indoors. They are beautiful though.

And in the back corner, my golden rain tree is in bloom. It is terribly crowded by the plum tree next door as I planted too close to the fence and so did they, but looking out the back window is a very cheerful thing to do. I am putting in bedding plants and having a ball. I love my garden!

Freeing Iraq

I did not want us to go to war in Iraq. In fact I wrote to President Bush twice explaining my concerns. One of those concerns was that I don’t think the US should ever start a war.

Having said that, -- I subscribe to the bully in the playground theory. If the big tough bully in the playground is picking on the little guys, even those who are his own supposed friends, then somebody has to stop him. Who, you may ask? Well, it would be the teacher’s responsibility, but in reality, whoever could stop him, should stop him. We are not the teacher, or the police, but since we could stop Saddaam we probably had a responsibility to do so. However, I think there were a lot more politically feasible methods we should have tried before resorting to violence.

One of the ‘reasons’ given for going to war when we did was the “weapons of mass destruction” fear. Enough of our elected leaders believed that that was a problem that they voted to go to Iraq, only now they want to claim they never did want war. Well, I for one believe that we found enough weapons and enough proof that weapons had been there, (or were trying to be there) to actually justify a sweep on that account. However, I never thought that enough of a reason to go to war.

We also had the post 9/11 outcry of ‘make ‘em pay”. However, we know it wasn’t Iraq that caused our pain on 9/11 but al’cida. (I don’t know how to spell that) Using that as a reason for war never held water with anybody except the people most in pain at the moment, who wanted somebody to be at fault and be punished. Those people have long since changed their minds because they now know, as we all must learn, that payback doesn’t bring back your loved ones or make you feel any better.

We did, however, go to war. Now the problem is simply ‘how do we get out of there?’ As time goes on, more and more of us want out, even those who originally thought we should go to war. The only hold out seems to be President Bush.

I do not believe President Bush is evil incarnate, or even a particularly bad person, but he is incredibly stubborn on this topic. Yes, we would all love to see the Iraqi people free of destructive laws and influences, and particularly we would like each to be able to make his or her own religious choices. We would like it if no one in the world were forced to live in a way contrary to their own beliefs and we as a people do not like tyrants and bullies.

The people in Iraq however, do not trust us to bring about change. In fact, they are so used to having someone tell them what to do and how to live that they seem unable to imagine life without a dictator/leader. We, as a nation, are currently a poor example of freedom, since we are so enamored with “do your own thing” that we have forgotten the responsibilities that come with freedom. And our lack of modesty in every area of life would scare any thinking people. There are few Iraqis with the imagination to see that we could bring them great good, and in the end their lives would be better. Even those with that kind of imagination don’t believe we will really get out of there, after.

Therefore, the only way to prove to them that we want their lives to be better, in my opinion, is to leave. Then, from a distance we can offer help in setting up a democratic government, building useful infrastructure and educating the children.

If we stay, we simply took over as the ‘in charge’ guy, instead of giving them freedom.

Memorial Day

Changeable weather

It is raining again at my house. I love the rain! We live in a desert, so every drop is precious, and it is just so good for the garden. (nitrogen and all that) On the news last night they said bad weather was coming and I actually thought they meant hot weather was coming, since to me, jumping 30 degrees in one day is a bad thing. Very hard on the plants. Well, within a week we will be up 30 degrees again. We keep going back and forth from quite cold to quite hot. Sigh. I still have not found time to till my vegetable garden and I only have about a quarter of my bedding plants (flowers) in the ground. I hired some little boys from the neighborhood to clear out from around my tree stump so I could remove it, but they aren’t done yet. Darn it, they have lives beyond helping me. I’m a little scared of running the stump remover, since it is a big heavy machine. And last of all, I am not looking forward to cleaning out my pond, which is full of slime and therefore badly needs attention. All this complaining has one reason. I injured my arm and it is not better. I cannot control it properly or lift anything heavy. It is even hard to pump a sprayer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

And these are from London. In London we visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, and went on a walking tour. Those were really fun because we were able to learn a lot of fun things about history. We also were in a hotel near Hyde Park. The hotel was awful, but the walk through the park was great. You all know how much I love to travel. However, this trip seemed extremely expensive. I'd look at the price of something in the UK and think, a little high, but not too bad, and then realize it was in pounds, not dollars, so more than twice the posted price. I wondered how the normal person lives. Of course when I got home I found that the price of everything had gone up in America too. I think so much has been going on in our lives that I didn't realize how much the cost of living has gone up recently.


These are Paris.

Paris and London

I'm going to try again to show you some of the pictures we took in Paris and London. We rode the train from Wales to London, changed trains to the high speed one through the chunnel and landed in Paris. That travel took us most of the day, but the trains are really fast - only 2 hours from London to Paris.
This photo was a clock tower in Wales.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I am a real fan of hummingbirds, and have tried for years to attract them to my home. Yesterday I saw one sitting in a tree near my back window. I rushed to clean and fill the feeder, since they won't come back if they aren't fed. Success! A bird come to drink there. My feeder hangs outside a window near a trumpet vine and a mimosa tree. Both of those are also supposed to be beloved of hummingbirds. However, I thought I had lost my mimosa tree. No signs of life. Finally I noticed that there are buds in the upper branches. I may have lost some lower branches due to the cold last winter, but I am happy to report, the tree is alive. (I would HATE to lose another tree at this point, I am still suffering from loss of the willow!)

Check out my Slide Show!

Temple Square gardens

I knew after my last visit to TP gardens that if I didn't hurry I would miss the tulips at Temple
Square. So I played hooky and took the bus up last Wednesday afternoon. I'm glad I did, they were beginning to take out the bulbs and replace them with summer flowers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Point Gardens

We went walking in the Gardens this morning early. Incredibly beautiful. We got our membership during the Tulip Festival, but due to the weather here in Utah this year, the tulips weren't actually out yet. (much) I could tell they would be within a couple of weeks, but I was laughing at some of the visitors there that day who were complaining about the lack of flowers. " What are they trying to pull, I thought this was supposed to be a Tulip Festival. They don't have any flowers!" You could see the greenery everywhere, and anyone who knows anything about gardening could tell they would be blooming later. The managers can't control the weather! Besides, they had lots of entertainment and booths and food, singers and artists to make it worth the price of admission even if the flowers weren't yet out in full force. Anyway, last week and this week the gardens have been gorgeous. With our couples membership we get to go early in the morning and walk when there is no one else there but the workers. It is always a lovely way to get our morning exercise. The flowering trees are also very much in bloom right now. I absolutely love spring flowers; hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils, etc. I don't have enough tulips myself so I hope to remember to get to the Gardens to buy their bulbs as they pull them out. Next year my house will be better in the spring. And soon, my lilacs will all be open! I don't have much done in the yard yet, still opening boxes and sorting stuff out to give to D.I. but I am gradually cleaning up the winter mess. Wish I could clone me. Remember "Multiplicity" ? I want three of me to work together on the same jobs. We could have fun together and get much done in garden and house.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sad news

Since I am having trouble uploading pictures of the vacation I will have to come back to that later. Right now I have sad news for the gardener. I lost my big globe willow tree this week. It had been struck by lightening a few years ago, and was damaged. However, willow trees are amazingly resilient and it continued to live and grow. It was nearly 50 feet high, and beautiful. It gave fabulous shade to the house and was a joy to sit under. There has been a lot of wind here lately, and the winter was very cold. I picked up fallen branches as usual (willows trim themselves) and noticed that more large branches up in the tree were dead. Then Tuesday while taking our walk, I noticed that the nice round top was opened up. We walked over and looked and found the trunk was splitting three ways. Sweet C said I had better get it down before it fell on the neighbors vehicles, shed, and our fence. I called for a couple of estimates but before the second had even made it out the split down had increased by 3 more feet. I called the gentleman I had decided to have remove the tree and told him the problem and by the time he came to look a hour later, the split had opened another 4 inches in width. Both of us were concerned it would come down that night and so even though it was raining, blowing and lightening flashing, he came back with a helper and took down the dangerous parts that night. The next morning he came back and cut down the rest of the tree. It was huge, took him two large trailer loads to haul the brush away, and my neighbors took the firewood. So by Thursday night the whole things was gone. I am very sad. I hate having to lose trees ever, and this was such nice shade tree. My neighbors are also very sad to lose this tree as it gave them good afternoon shade. Sigh. I will need to figure out what I want to replace it with. I may want to build a deck on that side of the house and wait to plant a tree until after that is done. Do I want another willow? Do I want another tall tree? It feels so bare there!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wales photos