Sunday, December 23, 2007

White Christmas

Several weather channels are prediction the snow level to drop to 1000' ft. I'm at 1100' ft.
Since I will be home, Blessed Home for the Holidays, I want snow.

C'mon Santa Baby! Slip some snow beneath me tree.


Before Pictures

These are two pictures showing my "before" Perennial Garden
called "The Winged Garden" because almost everything I planted I planted with an eye towards feeding or attracting winged wildlife such as bees, butterflies, hummers & other birds. I should have labeled the pots! BUT I saved the pot stickers and they are next to the plants. I have planted gobs of different lavenders, butterfly bushes, crocosmia, California & Oriental poppies, Rosemary, Salvias, Monardo, Creeping Thyme, Phormiums, Sedges, (orange, evergold, cappacino, among others) & two Rose Mallows. OH! & mustn't forget the hardy geraniums & huecheras!

I also accidentally planted oats, & didn't get all the crack grass out so this year will be the Great Struggle Against The Naughty Grasses.

Off to work, Merry Christmas if I don't get back here!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fa La La La La, Glucosamine Blues!

So my baby boy scared the snot out of me last Wed. His arthritis is now "officially" bad, he wouldn't get up, and laid and shivered. So now he is relearning his house manners. He has a comfy sleeping bag, and gets to come inside at night, along with Spirit. It is rather daunting! He's as big as a small lion, I kid you not. This boy is basically massive. Since I don't trust Harley the kitty to behave with anything vaguely resembling respect for Teeghkii's sensibilities, all the kitties are banished to the bedroom while Teeghkii is in the house. I slept with him for the first four nights, to make sure he didn't get nervous, and of course, because I was REALLY worried that it was some horrible terrible no-good rotten Emergency Vet-time sickness!! I'm actually relieved that it's "just" arthritis. Glucosamine/Chondroitan/MSM combo can definitely help, especially since he's still relatively young. It's nice having him in. It's nice that he has decided inside is nice!

So far, seems as if my prognostication about a colder Winter for PNW is fairly accurate. The rest of the country will wind up with a warmer than normal Winter, but we'll get it cold. C'Mon let's see a White Christmas! The plants at the Garden Center are all sorts of confused.. We've had to fire up the greenhouse heaters a few times, and the silly Peonies think they might want to push bud. Great Googlie Mooglies! Feels like a balancing act in the greenhouses, keeping it warm enough not to lose the tenders, but keep it cool enough so that the plants don't wake up and think it might be a good idea to put out some new growth. GO BACK TO SLEEP, YOU PLANTS!!

I have a ton of work to do on my perennial garden this Spring... I have to pull all the crack grass out. I have to get some wee garden fencing (I'm think a miniature white picket fence!) because the ducks think I planted all that succulent ornamental grass for them to 1) lie on or 2) eat.
*bah* But the trade-off is, I haven't seen a slug in months. I bought some block to line the bottom of the garden, that will look nice when I get it installed. I pulled out all the bronze Fennel that I (mistakenly) planted.. As much as I love the plant, it's WAAAY too big and WAAAAY too happy in the perennial garden. I am hoping it'll take off around the pond. It will provide a nice food source for the finches & chickadees. AH well, ya live, ya learn... It's not the worst mistake I could have made.

I discovered a few other garden blogs that I am quite enjoying:

What a delight to discover like-minded souls!

Over and out till next time.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

La Nina & Weather watching

Of course, it would help if I advertised my blog, but oh well, so be it, it is an on-again/off-again diary of sorts then.

I have been watching the weather
and watching carefully the effects of this particular La Nina event. Now, since we (the Royal We here) have only been monitoring approx 10 La Nina events in recorded history, we really have no clue as to what the long-range accuracy of this forecast may be.

So.... I am going to prognosticate that this Winter will be colder & wetter than "normal" for the PNW. I cannot share this with my Roomie, because she, as a Courier, does not want to hear anything about cold weather. I, on the other hand, having my two jobs right close to town, can basically --although unwillingly-- walk to work. Or slide, as the case may be, if the chains on my wee truck decide not to grip the roads. But, the truck is small, she slides well, she just doesn't go back UP willingly. DOWN is easy.

Since one job is very dependent upon the weather, --that of being a plant nerd extraordinaire-- I spend alot of time monitoring the weather. What will it do tonight? Will my plants freeze? How hard will the freeze be? Will I need the heater? Or will the lightbulb suffice? Should I drag all the one gallon orphans --those not yet firmly escounced in their soil-y beds-- into the now-refreshingly cleaned & insulated greenhouse? Which, by the way, is now the home of two clutches of praying mantis egg sacks, and one dragonfly to eat the mosquitoes.

And, of course, precipitation is an important need-to-know event.. Will the Goatie Girlz (The Nubian Queens) be able to spend the day up in their Yard? Or will they be forced to languish in their small, warm stall? I think I'll buy a couple of dog coats and see if they will keep them on. Since dog collars work just fine on the Girlz, maybe quilted coats will too.

The Woofers are getting their sublime coats in, rich & luxurious I am not embarrassed to admit I love to bury my face in their fur. Of course, I get kisses as a reward, so hey, it's a Win-Win situation.

We have also finally answered the age-old question: Does a Bear Sh** in the Woods? No, Virginia, he saves that for the Apple Orchard. Sleep tight, Boo Boo.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

*whew!* Spring is in the Air!

Finally tightened my belt and bought that Osmanthus Delaveyi, and the two Firepower Nandinas I've had on hold for a couple months... I'm not sure where I'm going to plant the Osmanthus, somewhere close to the front door where we can smell it when it blooms.. I'm going to have to be firm with my pruning schedule, because 6' tall & wide is just hard to accommodate! OH well, I'll find a way ... The 2 Nandinas are going into the perennial bed right out front. They are JUST what I needed ! Some Winter color!! Small mounding evergreen shrubs that go scarlet for Winter, chartreuse for Spring, and rich green for Summer into Fall. Who could ask for anything more?

Trimmed up a few of the "Midnight Blue" Penstemon, there's another beaut for the perennial bed, evergreen, lacy & loose with rich red-orange stems. Summer & Fall bonus with a 4 month+ bloom season of tubular deep purple-blue flowers a couple of inches long. Match them up with Rose Yarrow and a nice "Cirrus" Dusty Miller with a back drop of Porcupine Grass, and a couple of Orange Sedges interspersed and my oh my oh my.

We're in for a few weeks of nice weather, and I am sure getting the itch!!


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snowed In!

Well, well, well. I made it to work, but I have no way home. My poor ol' truck with rear-wheel drive is just not up to navigating the ice rink hill upon which we live. The Garden Center is socked in with snow, but I've watched the snow plow clear off the hiway, so traffic is moving along Hiway 224 at a fair clip.

It's OK, I have extra socks, a sleeping bag and plenty of firewood available, but BOY am I going to miss my kitties, my woofies, and my husband! (not necessarily in that order!) Plus, if I DO get stuck here, I won't have to worry about getting to work tomorrow morning! It's expected to snow again tonight, into tomorrow, and I could sure use the opportunity to make up for the lost hours yesterday, since I simply was unable to make it down the hill.. The Garden Center closed at 11 am. It was just an ugly, snowy, icy mess.

I'm working on the Spring Newsletter, but I have no idea if my manager will let us use it, or if she'll file it in the circular file. We'll see! At least it's time well spent.

I'm prepared, I have my laptop, and a good book.. So if I'm stuck for the night, I won't be bored. I've got a couple projects I'm working on, one I'm really excited about! I'm researching a tutorial on rescue protocol!! Maybe having a tutorial available will make it better for the animals. If we manage to educate even just a few rescuers and transporters, it will all be worth it. It's a group effort, and I am really excited to be a part of it !!

OH well, gotta go fetch more firewood, don't want the fire to go out, it's too darn cold ! Y'all stay warm, hear??


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow Day!

Pretty amazing that east county doesn't seem to get much news coverage, back in San Diego, they used to tease us Country folk about there being "No Intelligent Life east of I-5", and it appears, if one was to view the mainstream media as Gods, that the same applies here....

No-one of import lives in East County, Portland, Oregon.
No-one works in East County, Portland, Oregon.
None of us needs to know the weather conditions in the Country.
The only people who deserve to know what's going on are the Flat Landers.

(my ex-Boss used to call anyone who lived west of the Clackamas "flat-landers")

We're all socked in up here on the hill, 6" of snow, the one access road is a treacherous slick of ice, slush & snow. The neighbor kids are making it worse by tobaggoning (using trash can lids, tupperware lids, sleds, and those round thingies with handles) up and down on the road itself, rather than up & down on their own property, thus packing down the snow, melting it with their hot little snow-suited butts, and then packing it down some more. You can see the shine of the glassy pack from my driveway. I'm missing a day's pay due to the weather conditions up here, and now I'm worrying that I'm going to miss tomorrow... Since it's going to freeze again tonight, will the ice-skating rink the kids are creating make it more difficult to get to work? Am I going to have to ditch my truck again tomorrow?

I know this is fun, but if you have to actually do the grown-up stuff like WORK, or drive or walk, it makes it impassable, and treacherous.

AH! But I remember when that didn't matter. So now I struggle to not walk out and hollar "HEY! You goofy kids, don't you know you're making it dangerous for me to get my groceries? Get off the road, and go sled on your own land!" (You've ruined your own lands, and you won't ruin mine!)


Wolfdancer Creek, Paradise Revisited

This is my first blog, heck, very close to my first viewed Blog. I don't know what the purpose of it will be, I do not know its' function yet. We are Becoming.

But what the heck are we Becoming? OK, since this is my first Blog, maybe you'd like to know a little about me. I suppose that's a good start to a Beginning, eh?

I'm 49 years old, and am considered an "Official Aging Hippy". I left Sunny San Diego the year my Grandmother died, in 2003 for the rural life in the foothills of the Western Cascades, in a small town in Oregon of population 2,100. I was my Grandmother's primary Caregiver for the past 20 years of her life, the last three being pretty intense, as she had developed moderate dementia after a surgery, involving anesthesia. I'm married, have been for 9 years, it's both our first marriage. My husband has developed some serious health risks, and is disabled. He blew his shoulder out on a work-related accident, and settled for far less than he should have, and now we'll be paying for that choice. He has also developed seizures, and as we have no health insurance, we have no idea as to the cause. He'll be on anti-seizure medication for the rest of his life.

I've had several careers in my life, Food Service for a kazillion years, in all aspects -and I mean ALL- Long Lines Telephone Operator & Sales Rep for 8 years, Pre-School Teacher for 8 years. I loved this career, until I lost one of my students to abuse. I told my manager I thought there was abuse, and no-one believed me until his step-father killed him with blunt force trauma to his stomach at age 4 years, 3 months. I remember wondering what on God's Green Earth a 4-year-old could have possibly done wrong enough to deserve a beating like that. I was called to witness, and it was my testimony which nailed the bastard to the wall. He got a slap on the wrist, because he was Navy. Despite child abuse classes and therapy, I just could never get over it. It just slapped me in the face how powerless I was as a Teacher to protect my students if their Families decided to hurt them. So I waved good-bye to that career.

When I moved up here, I tried to apply as a Vet Tech, even as a Kennel worker, to no avail... and on the way home, I applied rather half-heartedly at a nursery right in town. *laugh* & they hired me! I have found that I love it, love working with plants, love growing them. Love helping people create their own little piece of heaven, their Home Sanctuaries. I'm taking classes at the Community College, and am slowly working towards a degree, which will be my third Associates' degree. I am trying to live a sustainable life, and I steer my customers towards organic products, and organic living. I am learning about integrated pest management, which is a proactive method of dealing with plant pests & diseases which do not use harsh environment-destroying chemicals.

This Spring I am getting a flock of ten critically endangered Ancona ducklings, and I bought 2 doe Nubian goats for blackberry abatement, (they eat their weight in blackberries PER DAY!) and when they are old enough, I plan to make goat's milk soap.

Back in 1989, I was Gifted (fooled! set up!) with my first wolfdog (a canine who has "recent wolf inheritance", ie: part wolf, often erroneously referred to as "wolf hybrids") and I have been involved with raising and rescuing and educating about them for the past 18 years now.

My Great-Grandfather was assistant District Attorney for San Diego back in the early 30's, and he gave me a passion for Politics which my Grandmother (who raised me) encouraged.

We have a room-mate who lives in a yurt in a polebarn with her four wolfdogs as a pack. Like a ship in a bottle! The wolfdogs aren't allowed to enter without her, because they are naughty, and like to pull the mattress out and play king of the mattress. We are taking a Divine Feminine class together called The Emerald Code, it includes Teachings from Shamanism, and it has been a life-altering experience.

My plans for the future include getting a commercial greenhouse, and propagating small plants & rare trees, building a pottery studio for my husband, and setting up a booth at Saturday Market to sell the plants I grow in the pots he makes. I am working on a couple books, and my Roomie bought me my first working easel, and 2 canvases, so I am going to FINALLY begin to play with my oils. I have had them for years, but was unable to experiment with them while Grammy was alive, since she didn't like the smell.

I forgot to mention I'm an EverQuest addict. Anyone else know where that is?

Life has been full of changes for us since 2003, would this be considered a Mid-Life Crisis? Maybe, only we didn't choose it, and what does not kill us makes us stronger.

So that's the Introduction in a nutshell, I'll be talking about wolfdogs, plants, gardening, sustainable living, my goats, the ducks, maybe even the weather here in Beautiful Downtown Estacada, you blink, you miss it.

Blessings, O Bloggers! Be Most Welcome Here.