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When Life Feels Just Right

Gardens, dogs, Nature, family and friends, and a purpose in life. That’s how feel I have all together in my life, all mixed together to make for a good, and happy world. My community is there for me, as I am there for it.

Having a purpose in live, and feeling you are doing your best to meet that purpose, this is surely a secret to living a good life. This blog post, that I posted today, talks about this, and I feel it explains some more about me.

Life is make up of many aspects of being, what we love, what we do, what makes life feel worthwhile, who and what we love. Gardens, Nature, family, friends, and of course, our dog Missy is one of my friends.
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A good garden is a lot like life in general. If you get all of the necessary ingredients right, your garden can thrive. Enough water, sunshine, fertiliser, and care from the gardener, these all go together to make your garden grow, and grow well.

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Why I Love Geraniums

Geraniums are tough. Geraniums are pretty. Geraniums can go without water, for a while, and still live. Geraniums can have different kinds of leaves. And lastly, geraniums have a huge range of differently coloured flowers. Oh, some geraniums have beautifully scented leaves.

So, having said all of that, I don’t feel I need to say too much more, but I will anyway, because, hey, this is a blog, and I like to put my writing ‘out there’, and of course, blogs are good for doing that. And I have some photographs of some, possibly all, of our geraniums that we have growing at our place.

Just for your information, we live around sixty kilometres north of Adelaide, where it can get quite hot at times, and is often very windy. Our geraniums manage well in these conditions, flowering nicely. Most of our geraniums came from cuttings I have made, using material from those I’ve found at various places. I remove a stem with some leaves on it, put it in some soil, and keep it moist, and let Nature do its magic.

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These are a few of our different geraniums, there are around three or four more different ones.Or that might be five or six. I really should count them, I suppose. It’s too dark to do it now!

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Finally, My Rosella Poem

I’ve finally finished writing my rosella poem I mentioned in my last post. It isn’t a poem of great poetic note, I don’t think, but it’s a little bit of my thoughts about the birds I see around the place, and those feline creatures that kill and eat them.

I am not a cat hater, but I definitely prefer the various birds that live all around my place. I am definitely a dog lover too, and it saddens me that our dog Missy will catch and eat birds too, if she can. That’s why I’m glad Missy likes lounging around on the sofa for a large part of the day, and all of the night, safely shut inside.

Anyway, here is that poem, have a read, and leave a comment, I love to have feedback on my poetry!

 

What Mother Nature has Shown Us

Four rosellas, strolling free,

wandering around in the shade,

as casual and easy as they could be,

and as free as Nature made.

 

So what’s a rosella, you might ask

well I’ll tell you what, it’s a bird

and seeing and noting them is my task

every one, as they’ve occurred.

 

For I am a birdwatcher, that’s a job,

I gave myself, and happily do.

Whether it’s a single bird, or a mob

I think they’re beautiful, don’t you?

 

And I tell you this, my good fella,

birds a very attractive visitor –

with not many better than an Adelaide rosella –

a favourite of mine, that’s for sure!

 

I have a list, of the birds I’ve seen

as they come visiting where I live,

I write down each, when they’ve been –

a new bird, hooray, what thanks I give!

 

But today I’ve seen something not so good

A grey cat skulking about on the lawn –

it’s not my cat, and I think it should

go away, for my thoughts are torn –

 

I wouldn’t want to hurt a creature

and this is cat is somebody’s pet,

it’s bright red collar is quite a feature,

as red a red as you could get.

 

This cat’s been around for many weeks

but these rosellas are much more rare

and I want these critters with their beaks,

but cats? Bah, I couldn’t care!

 

Nature gives me these wild critters

birds fly in and then off they go,

but that cat here gives me the jitters,

what if a bird is a little too slow?

 

Catching birds is something that cats

like to do, but they get fed by owners.

Birds forage for their food, and that’s

what Mother Nature has shown us.

 

In my ideal world there are no cats,

or if there are, they stay inside,

so birds are safe from felines, that’s

safest for birds, & they won’t have to hide!

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A Poetic-Bird Related Challenge

I mentioned the Adelaide Rosellas in my front yard here recently, and have been challenged to write a poem about these visitors. I like writing poetry, and do it often, and I’m always happy to take on a poetry prompt. So, thank you John Malone, this will be a poem you encouraged me to write!

I’ve begun writing this as yet untitled poem. I don’t know when I will have it finished, or exactly how the poem will be by the time it is done, but I want it to be a poem suitable for children, and I want to send it, with other writing, to my favourite publication for children, The School Magazine. They aren’t accepting submissions at the moment, but they will be again sometime …

If I want this rosella poem to get published, it will have to be appealing to both the editor of this Magazine, and to children too, of course. The Adelaide Rosella isn’t a bird children in other states are likely to encounter unless they are from South Australia. They may have seen other kinds of rosellas though, and if I can make my poem appealing enough, it may find favour …

At the moment I’m thinking about the way the two words rosella and fella both rhyme, and that may lead me into a good path for a humorous poem, who knows? And the fact that the grey cat that’s been hanging around our place was in the same place I saw the rosellas may add an interesting hint of possible danger for the birds … Who knows? Well, hopefully I know, this is the poem I have to write!

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Time for a Little Garden Time?

I have to confess that my time spent in our garden recently has been a rushed trip out in the back yard, with hose in hand, and spraying water on some of the plants that need water. And that’s pretty well it.

To be fair to myself, some of our weather recently has been very summery, as in stinking hot and hellish. But we’re heading for some milder weather soon, and I feel like it’s the time I should stay out there, after the watering is done, and the plants are all fresh and lovely.

I’ve seen some lovely clouds up in the sky, these past days, and have been thinking about snapping some more cloud, blue sky, greenery combo photos, not for any particular reason, but just because I love to look at that combination.

I think sitting outside in a cool spot might me nice tomorrow, I could look at lovely things out there, sit, think, write a bit. Missy would like being out there with me too, I’m sure. She likes being outside sometimes, when there are birds, and other interesting things happening … As long as the ‘interesting things’ aren’t reptiles, I’m very happy to have my lovely dog outside with me!

We have strawberries growing in hanging pots again, and my husband and I both spotted on that had ripened up beautifully well. He picked it and ate it, and said it tasted lovely. I’m glad it was one we managed to get at before any birds could! I don’t mind birds getting the strawberries, not really.

Well I sort of do, actually. I know how lovely home-grown strawberries are, so much better than any you can get at a supermarket. But we haven’t worked out a good and easy way to protect the strawberries from birds, so unless we’re quick the birds will go on being the lucky ones. At the moment, there are probably twenty strawberries growing, tiny little strawberries. I know if they grow to ripeness, they will be delightful to taste …

But, do I care enough to actually figure out a way to keep those strawberries safe? I’ve had a couple of ideas, but on further thought, I wasn’t so sure the ideas would actually work … We have a little bit of bird netting, but I’m not sure on how it would be all held together, without gaps … And really, I do like having birds in our back yard, so letting them have tasty treats to eat seems like a small price to pay …

We have two small muntries bushes growing on the front veranda, and I certainly don’t want the birds to get those fruits. They’re an Australian Native plant, with tiny little fruits, which are quite tasty, and have high levels of antioxidants and vitamin C. Those muntries are ripening up well, and perhaps picking the ripest ones can be another of my tasks for tomorrow.

Of course, when I get up tomorrow, I might change my mind on what I want to do, one of the great things about not having a job, (and it being the weekend too), is that I can pretty well do whatever I feel like doing. And if I feel like doing not much of anything at all, that’s fine too.

The life of leisure suits me well, I’m an expert at sitting around and wondering about things … Do you like doing not much at all, or are you one of those people who always feel they must be doing something?

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Missy going Zoomies

Our dog, Missy, is an eleven year old pharaoh hound, and recently she has been showing a strange behaviour. We don’t know if this is just another odd sight hound thing, a reaction to something happening in her environment, or a medical related thing we should be worried about.

This thing is something that is called Zoomies, when a dog suddenly gets up and races at great speed, and with little care about what gets in the way. So Missy has been doing this leaping off her sofa, and racing off into another room. Very odd to see, that’s for sure.

Apart from that behaviour, she has also been getting into her crates, to lie down. This is a new thing for her in recent times. When we had a house full of dogs, the two crates we have were used, but once Missy became our only dog, as the oldies left this world, that’s when Missy really became the queen of her sofa.

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She’s still using the sofa, but she sometimes gets in the crate I put her meal in, to lie down in there for a rest. This, as I’ve indicated, is a new thing for Missy. She’s still eating well, and seems fine in all other ways. She was in the other crate, yesterday night and this morning, and that isn’t something that had happened for over a year.

I think it’s probably a reaction to environment, rather than a health related issue, but I’m keeping an eye on Missy, that’s for sure. Missy thinks this room is kept too cool, I suspect, and I think it is too, but my husband likes it cool, and I can always go and put more clothes on, if I’m troubled.

We are suffering a dramatic hot period in South Australia, having had out hottest January ever in the time white people have here recording such things. I wonder whether that weather, and our subsequent air conditioning, cooling this living area where we spend much of our time, humans and Missy too, could that be relevant too? Missy’s spot on her sofa is a very cool spot, with the air con sending much coolness along for her.

And another recent ‘new’ thing is the visitor we have had here a few times recently. Our son has moved out of home, and has now got himself his first dog of his own. He was brought up with dogs always in the house, but this dog he has is his very first dog of his own. She is a greyhound, named Sharon. A lovely tall black greyhound, and if people think our pharaoh hound is tall, whoa, they’d be stunned at Sharon’s height!

So Missy has had her home invaded several times by a great bit dog, who, although hasn’t actually done anything nasty to her, still seems to loom, based solely on her height. Missy has been to Sharon’s house too, but she still feels protective of her own home, but she’s not stupid to make a fuss, she just keeps away and things go fine. But I think Missy may have actually found safety in the crate up the other end of the house, on those occasions.

So that’s how it’s all going. At the moment, Missy has had her lunch and is stretched out comfortable on her sofa, which has a new covering over it, in case there had been something sharp in her bedding that had been causing the ‘zoomies’. She looks happy enough, we’ll just keep watching her, and see how it goes.

Living with dogs can be a strange thing, sometimes.

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Gardening with Hellish Weather

Today is the day after Christmas, 2018, and at the moment the temperature is hot, hot, hot! Neither gardens nor hounds do well outside in such conditions, so as a good dog owner, and as a sometimes gardener, I am taking actions to ensure the dog, and as many of the plants as possible, survive.

Missy goes outside in such conditions for only brief periods to do hwat she needs to do, then she comes back  inside to recline once more upon her ‘throne’! Her sofa is situated in one of the coolest spots possible, with the cool air from the air conditioner blowing onto her. I think this is why she goes outside and lies down on the grass, and has a bit of a roll on the grass too, to warm up before cooling down again.

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Of course, with the plants, it isn’t that easy. You can’t bring inside plants growing on our property, they’re roots connect them to the soil outside. We can water them too, and today the usual plants will get plenty of water, once the sun goes down a little bit. I think over the next few (stinking hot) days, the potted plants will get more frequent quenching, and with luck there won’t be any big losses …

Having MS (multiple sclerosis), makes it more tricky to do too much outside in this weather, and I’m glad my husband, who is also my carer, is well and truly up to keeping our outside plants watered and living, for the most part. Most of our vegetable growing is over for now, with only herbs in pots still going, as well as the polystyrene box of Purslane, which is absolutely thriving, along with the chocolate mint growing in one of the vegetable beds.

Anyway, I’ve been playing with growing some vegetable produce indoors, to see if I can usefully do that, to help out in the kitchen. I saw an opportunity, and jumped at was was on offer – this was using the last of our our Spring onion crop, which was pulled up several weeks ago. I grabbed the few weedy looking plants, and popped them into two used ‘jiffy pots’ that have been in our kitchen, on the windowsill for years.

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(The plant above is the first of the jiffy pot ones)

So once I’d put two extremely weedy little plants into the jiffy pots, I grabbed the four  smallest remaining ones, and put the others, (after rinsing off the dirt) into a plastic bag in the kitchen. I put those four into an old glass, and partly filled it with fresh water. I then committed to keeping them all safely hydrated (watered).

I had the idea that throwing away spring onion parts, the bottom end, with roots attached, was possibly wasteful, and maybe I could grow them inside, in water, or something. So I grabbed a cut off part of one of the spring onions from the fridge, and put that one in the water, with the others.

I’ve been watching, waiting and watering, and am pleased with the results so far! I’ve had new growth on all of the ‘plants’, and I’ve been able to snip off the strongest leafy parts to use in cooking. It hasn’t been a lot yet, but who knows how it will go? You sure can’t get any fresher than grown, cut and cooked within minutes! The window sill, chopping board and stove top are all within about two metres apart!

I’ve also taken some cuttings of the chocolate mint, and some thyme, and am seeing whether they will grow roots in water. I have no expectations, just a simple hope. If no roots come along, it doesn’t matter, the parts can all become parts of a lovely hot chai choc drink, or better still, choc chai mocha drink (if I get some coffee involved too)!

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(spring onions growing in water, note the cut off tops, they were in dinner last night)

 

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(chocolate mint is larger leaved one, and it has roots growing! the thyme, being a woody stemmed plant may not be as successful, but I have more growing outside, so that’s fine)

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