Sunday, December 29, 2013


     This morning, I was listening to the organic gardening radio show and a lady called in and said she uses peppermint oil on cotton balls to keep rats out of her attic.  I've heard that before.  I think she said they're allergic to something in the peppermint oil. 
     A few minutes later, I noticed a squirrel coming down the limb to my birdcage bird feeder and wondered:  if it works for rats, maybe it would work for squirrels.  Squirrels are rodents, too.  So, I soaked a cotton ball with peppermint oil and put it inside the cage.  Twice I saw a squirrel come down the limb, get close to the cotton ball and then leave.  I'm not sure if it was afraid of the white "someting different", or if the peppermint oil really worked.  I'll let you know.  Wouldn't it be great if it works!  I know they're hungry, too, but I want them to go find some bugs and stuff and LEAVE MY BIRD FEEDERS ALONE!!

Monday, December 23, 2013


I have lots of trees in my yard and am very thankful for them in the horrible heat of  summertime.  But, in the winter after the leaves have fallen, I love the way the sunlight streams through my windows.

So far, we've had several mornings that were around freezing temperatures.  My Martha Gonzales antique rose bush doesn't seem to mind that it's really, really cold.  Maybe the heat from my house helps keep it a little warmer.  
Whatever the reason, I really love seeing these beautiful red rose blooms when everything else is struggling to survive the cold. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Today, I was afraid the rain coming in with this cold front would pass us by.  But, it's raining a nice soft shower with a little thunder, right now.  I love this kind of homemade chicken soup weather.
Thinking we might get some rain, yesterday I got on my ladder and checked my gutter guards to make sure nothing was blocking the screens.
When I was on my ladder, I noticed some broken shingles and went to investigate.  I think a raccoon must have tried to dig into my roof, but was unsuccessful, thank goodness!  Dear, sweet Gus has been my go-to guy whenever I needed help with something I couldn't do, myself.  But, recently Gus found out that he has liver cancer and is undergoing chemo right now.  
So, since he can't take care of those shingles, I'm pretty sure I can do it.  I'll post pictures when I get up there to do the repairs.
In the meantime, back to our giant resident 

The handle on that bucket is 3 1/2" wide and that frog is bigger.  I'm telling you, it's a giant frog.
A couple of days ago, I saw it sitting on the rocks by the fish pond and was acting really sluggish.  I figured something had interrupted his hibernation.  He always startles me, because he's just so big.  I came in and googled this picture to make sure he's a toad frog and not some scary poisonous african frog.  But, he has the exact same markings as a toad frog, so I guess he is.
While I was watching him, Punkin jumped up on the rocks and kind of starting carefully sniffing him.  That frog gently lunged at her like "lea me alone" and I told her to get down.  Then, being curious she jumped up there again and the frog gently lunged at her, again.

I went on about my business, but kept watching the frog.  Finally, he made it to a pile of leaves on the edge of the fish pond and scooted under the rocks, trying to get back to his snoozing.
I don't know how long he will live, but he has been an interesting part of my backyard garden.
And, it's still raining!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Lookie at my early Christmas presents!  A cordless drill and a compressor and nail gun combo.  My other one is so old, it will be nice to have new tools. 

The drill even came with a cute bag for storage.  I got it early because I was afraid Lowes would run out of them.  
Gonna charge my drill tonight and can't wait to try to figure out how to use the nail gun.
I'm happy, happy, happy!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


     Well, I've been working every extra minute on my website and finally!! finished.  I did all of the text and color changes, but my friend helped me with the new look.  For my navigation bar, she used my bird art and, as you're clicking on a link to view my work, it looks like the bird is flying.  I LOVE it!!
     Birds, birds, birds, I love birds!  Well, maybe not doves and sparrows so much at my feeders.  Doves do such big poop and sparrows come in gangs, chase everybody off of the feeders, eat everything and move on to their next attack on feeders.  I know they're hungry, but they are aggressive and chase off the wonderful little chickadees, titmice, gold finches and other native birds.  I do feel guilty about my attitude, but that is how I feel.
     While I was on the computer, I had to keep getting up and chase squirrels off of the feeders.  Charlie will start barking so I'll come out.  This mama squirrel's earlier two juveniles are here and she's very pregnant again.  Doesn't she know there would be more food for her if she would just stop producing babies???  Squirrels are so pretty at this time of year and I love seeing them way out in my yard.  Their winter coats are very orangey and gray/brown.
     I rarely see black squirrels and when I do, they're all in one location.  Not far from here, I was working in a home close to a woody area and there were lots of black squirrels.  That's so interesting!  Maybe the gray squirrels and the black squirrels are territorial and that's why I don't see them together.  A couple of months ago, I was driving down my street and saw a black something moving on the ground and I got closer and realized it was a black squirrel.  It carried it's tail low, not high like the gray squirrels.  It made me wonder if someone had it as a pet or the black squirrels are moving in.
     Thanksgiving was so nice and Christmas is almost here.  Soon, the holidays will be over with one more year behind us.  I hope you and I have a good new year and dare I hope for peace in the world!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


We had a very cold spell last week.  Today, it was really warm, in the 80's.  In two days it will be sooooo cold, again!!  I'm thinking this is the last view of my patio before everything freezes.

The last couple of days, I've seen beautiful little butter yellow butterflies everywhere.  I tried to get a picture of them, but they just won't stay still, flitting from flower to flower.  They were loving my blue plumbago and there are only a few flowers left because of the cold spell last week.  I do wonder what will happen to those little butterflies when it stays cold for several days.
In late fall, I let everything grow however and wherever it wants to grow.  I think the very last flowers, foliage and bugs will benefit birds, butterflies and nature in my garden a little longer.
I love my yard when it's so green and pretty.  But, when the first freeze comes, I'm almost relieved that everything is frozen for the winter and I don't have to bother with it for a few months.
Hoping your winter will be warm and cozy.