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Archive for the ‘El Paso’ Category

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     My parsley has been growing all winter. I’m not bragging, I’m just saying.

     This is a test post, really. A lot has happened to me technologically speaking since I took a break from blogging. The hard drive on my laptop crashed and I lost a lot of stuff, like Windows Live, which is a free blogging software program I’ve used ever since Little Miss, aka Claire from Cadence of Life introduced me to it way back in the day. I just downloaded it again this morning and wanted to test it out. I lost a lot of other stuff when my hard drive crashed, so my son-in-law, Paul, introduced me to Mozy, which backs up my computer throughout the day so I never lose anything again. He also introduced me to Skype Recorder. Now when I’m interviewing people for my articles I use a headset and call them from my computer, which is way cheaper than any land line phone plan (it’s $2.99 a month), and the free Skype Recorder automatically records everything in crystal clear sound. Plus, with Mozy backing everything up, I don’t have to worry about losing my interview. Basically, Paul has made my job a lot less stressful. Maybe my hard drive crashing wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

     And in weather news, although the winters in El Paso are mild compared to most parts of the country we do get snow. Nothing much, a dusting really, and certainly not enough to shovel. We don’t own a snow shovel, but I think we should buy a window scraper. We got some snow a few weeks ago so I took these photos of it on the truck

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and on the rosemary bush out front.

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bucket garden

I’m always whining about gardening in El Paso and how difficult it’s been for me. So this year I resolved to have container gardens. Since money is tight I’m planting seeds. But I’m also looking for instant color, so I’m buying mostly annuals, which pretty much goes against everything I’ve ever believed in. I believe perennials give you more bang for your buck, like years worth of bang. But I can’t afford to spend $12.99 or more on a plant that might die in a week. So I’m going with annuals and a few veggies.

Because I’m spending money on annuals, I can’t really afford to go out and buy the beautiful pots I’d like to get. But I need deep containers so my plants will think they’re in the ground. So I’m trash can and bucket gardening. No one can see the garden but us, because it’s inside our courtyard where I can keep an eye on it 24/7. I’ve gone around and collected all the unused trash cans we’ve got, and I’ve been buying buckets. The cheapest buckets I’ve found are the Home Depot utility buckets for $2.79. I drill holes in the bottom, drop in some newspaper and rocks for drainage, then add my special soil mixture. And of course (the most important part) I’m turning the bucket so the giant Home Depot ad doesn’t show.

Here’s a pepper plant and his friends oregano, snap dragon, and the petunia gang.DSC_1076 I took this shot about a week ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here it is this morning. So far, so good.

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Here’s some lovely bucket salvia.

Salvia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s some bucket petunias below:

petunias

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s my one big perennial splurge, trash can Rudbeckia and a hollyhock.

rudbeckia

I went to the store yesterday with a specific “bucket list” of what I wanted and here they are below. I’ve got to plant these today. They’re already well on the way to looking good (unlike the half-dead marked down K-Mart plants I bought weeks ago), so hopefully they’ll keep on keeping on and encourage the rest of the garden to do the same.

plant today

I’ll keep playing chakra music to my bucket garden and talking to it, and I just know the garden will cooperate. OR I WILL FLIP OUT.

I’m not really supposed to on here right now, taking photos and blogging, because I’ve got too much work to do so I’m gonna run. Happy gardening, everyone!

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prayer flag 1

This is my new Mexican prayer flag. At least I think that’s what it’s called.  It was my neighbor’s, but it blew into our yard and got caught in our pine tree. I was glad it happened. I’ve wanted one of these for the longest time. I never would have been able to get to the top of that tree to hang one as perfectly as this, and now I don’t have to. The wind did for me.

There’s a lot of stuff I now covet in this neighborhood. I see it when I’m walking Sydney. I don’t the names of any of it…just as I’m sure someone from El Paso couldn’t identify all the flora and architectural nuances of a New England neighborhood. So I’ve made up my own names for this stuff.

Here’s a sampling of stuff in my neighborhood that I want.

Below: This tree. It’s a couple doors down from me. I’d like to climb it:

love this tree

Below: This courtyard. We have a courtyard too, but we haven’t done much to it yet. This one is delightfully green and looks like I could rollerblade around inside.

courtyard

Below: This bush. I don’t know what it is, but I want one.

bush

Below: My next-door neighbor’s door. I want it. At Christmas they make it look so beautiful I could cry. Because it’s not mine.

bell door

Below: These people’s colored tin lizards. Real ones I hate.

lizards

Below: This bush that grows pink feathers. I call it a feather bush.

feathery things

Below: Another courtyard perfect for rollerblading. (Is it necessary for me to mention I don’t even own any rollerblades?)

kokopelli

Below: These people’s courtyard gate. Behold the gate. I’d put a big dog in the courtyard and let him stand at the gate all day to scare away the solicitors who come to the door. Like the Avon lady, and the guys with Chihuahua license plates on their trucks who ask me if I have any work for them. I should say, “! Please rearrange my closet…it’s a disaster!”

gatehouse

Well that’s it for today. When walking Sydney I’ll continue to take photos of all the stuff I covet in my neighborhood and post them here. It’s tough, because I don’t like getting caught, but for you guys it’s worth it.

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 Dog Biscuits

Does baking my own dog biscuits save money? I like to think so. But the star-shaped biscuits creep Timmy out.

    

     We’re in technology hell, you guys, HELL. Our Time-Warner telephone and Internet has been cutting out on us for three months. Our phone goes dead and our Internet comes up blank THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND NIGHT. If you’ve tried talking to us on the phone you know exactly what I’m saying here. You’re talking away and then suddenly you’re saying …”Hello? Hello? Are you there?” because we can hear you but you can’t hear us. So be careful what you say at that point.

Buck was talking to a guy on the phone when the line cut out. Buck actually heard the guy say, “Hey, this asshole just hung up on me!”  And of course our line was down for an hour, so Buck couldn’t immediately call him back and tell him what happened.

We’ve had our lines monitored by Time-Warner, tests run, and eight Time-Warner techs have actually come out to the house and each one claims to have found the “problem.” Each time they say it’s fixed. It is never fixed. Today I spoke with yet another supervisor, and this one told me there was nothing they could do for us. I asked him, “Should I get a new provider like AT&T or Comcast?” and he said, “I don’t know.”

In addition to the phone and Internet problems has anyone noticed how thin magazines have gotten lately? Well even if you have, I bet it’s not making you wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air.

Speaking of waking-up-gasping-for-air-and-then-what-do-you-do-because-it’s-only-4:30-in-the-morning-and-you’re-wide-awake? here’s a photo of the moon I took at 4:30 Monday morning. Or maybe it was Sunday morning. I wake up too many mornings like that to tell them apart.

Full Moon 445 AM dec. 12

     Prior to taking this photo I asked Buck if he cared to join me outside, but he was too busy  trying to breathe himself. 

      This post was supposed to be about baking dog biscuits. Here’s my advice: Do not make them star-shaped. Timmy never knows how to grab the star-shaped biscuits. He curls back his little lips and gingerly grabs it with just his tiny fangs then immediately drops it and licks it to death. It leaves a wet mark on the carpet and it’s a problem.  

 

 

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Today In El Paso

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zucchini

Well it’s December 2 and as warm as it’s been lately, I’m beginning to lose faith that my trash barrel zucchini plant will ever yield any actual zucchini. That’s what I get for shopping a 99-cent plant sale in October. Gardening here in El Paso is a bitch. For me, anyway.

In other El Paso plant news, I bought a rosemary Christmas tree at the supermarket last weekend. I have high hopes for it, as I always do with rosemary Christmas trees, but I have yet to keep one alive. Maybe here in EP I’ll have better luck, seeing that it grows like a weed in my front yard. I put this one in my kitchen, said a few prayers over it, and now it’s a waiting game.

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I’m working at the kitchen table today

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because some dog who shall remain nameless peed directly into the power strip in my office, thereby shorting out the costly-costly power strip. It was actually sizzling and sparking, and the pee turned black, so I yanked the plug from the wall and ran from the room.

For background ambiance in my kitchen office today, I have a DVD of the Andy Griffith Show playing on an endless loop in the background.

Andy Griffith

And in closing, I’d like to report that the Thanksgiving ham marathon has ended. All that was left was the bone, making it no longer my concern. Timmy and Sydney can work it out. We’re done with it.

ham bone

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Friday “SO FAR”?

I’ve been working this week, which is a drag because I took this job so I wouldn’t have to work. But I wanted to share this headline with you from Wednesday’s paper. I don’t know if the rest of the U.S. is aware of what’s going on here right over our border but it’s shocking. To read more about it you can click on the photo if you feel so inclined.

To leave you on a happier note, Stella is spending the afternoon safely napping:

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Yesterday’s Flood

Reflection of a tree in a puddle on our patio.

We got hit with the tail end of Hurricane Dolly yesterday. According to the El Paso Times we received 3-inches of rain in a matter of minutes — and I can totally testify to that. That’s the way it goes here in El Paso…you’re dry as dust for weeks, then you’re suddenly underwater. The rain has nowhere to go, it just piles up and before you know it you’re feeling like a pioneer frantically trying to improvise some method for keeping the rising water out of your fracking house.

Reflection of the sky in a recycling bin filled with water.

I’m still playing around with my new video camera and the movie editing program  I’ve had for years but never used. I went outside and shot some video as soon as the rain stopped pounding us. Sorry about the abrupt ending but I hadn’t really planned on posting this, then I thought, oh what the hell…

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