Friday, March 27, 2020


New outdoor project that is probably going to take me a bit of time or not. I might suddenly regress into my youth, have the strength and endurance that I once had. So, like I said this project is going to take a bit of time.  I am attempting to add a waterfall to our existing koi pond. Laying the fabric down was the easy part, the hard part is adding the rock work. Over the years I have added rock to the gardens with the idea that someday I would finally add the waterfall. I have rock of every shape and size tucked away everywhere. Some of it looks really nice where it landed but it all gets moved eventually, however long it takes this old gardener to move it.
After I work my way through this pile that I pulled from behind the old chicken house...... 
There are really large ones hidden in the acanthus bed that by summers end will be completely hidden from view.
 There are large pieces of flag being used as stepping stones.
There's the dry river bed that is full of river rock and good sized boulders that are screaming to be part of the new waterfall.

There are rocks not so hidden but look great like they were just meant for that spot, so will probably remain.
 And there are rocks that I don't remember and just surprise the hell out of me when I discover them while gardening.

But it is rain in the forecast for the rest of this week and looking at our Roxy I think I will follow her lead. The rocks are not going anywhere.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Just Another Day

It's funny how people react to isolation. We are doing great and this really hasn't changed our personal lives much, being retired. Apart from not seeing our family other than FaceTime in the evening to catch up on how things are progressing.

Our ancient Mt. Fuji Cherry is in full bloom.
Spring has truly sprung as the weather is pretty unpredictable. regardless of weather there is never a shortage of things to do. MeMa put a new message on the front porch giving the dog walkers something to read.

When taking Roxy for her morning walkies, the neighborhood was desolate, no traffic noise, no children out playing, not a sound except our footsteps. Once home MeMa made a few phone calls to friends to make sure they are all keeping well and staying in. We have not had to do any shopping and our supplies are holding well. On to the next project!

Listen Up Folks

As of last Monday the residents of Oregon have been given the "order" to stay home, no longer a request. MeMa and I being ardent rule followers stayed in as of the earlier request, but thousands of citizens drove to the coastal towns as if this whole work from home thing was time to party hardy at the beach. Wrong! It is because of these stupid people that the coastal towns got together and closed everything and issued orders for all non residents to vacate or be arrested.
Words to live by

MeMa made two lists, one are all outdoor projects and the other indoor since it is spring and weather flip flops from warm sunny to cool rainy. Today is rain so we have been decluttering the upper floor which contains office, library and guest room. Being an amateur naturalist I have collected many things from my years of traveling and living in Europe and the UK. We recently purchased a museum case at IKEA to house many of my specimens and bits and bobbles. MeMa did a bang up job of arranging most of it. I am just thrilled that most of my collection is out of the many boxes they had been housed in and stuffed in the closet.

She also guided me through the task of tidying up a disaster called my desk. Oh, look the roll top actually closes.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Star Magnolia

Magnolia Stellata or Star Magnolia

Back in the day and that day was most likely sometime in 1977 or 1978. Lets see.....We bought the house in 1976, there was a gravel drive with a narrow planting bed that was filled with dead zinnias running between the house and the drive.
They were dead because it was October 31st. Once the dead zinnias were grubbed out, I let the long narrow bed sit empty imagining what would look best.

I settled on eight little one gallon sized Star Magnolias. They looked bigger in the pots, but once in the ground they looked so small.

MeMa was pregnant with our second son and  posed for a photo standing next to my row of star magnolias.

A couple of years later we hired a company to install a tile roof on our house. I was just getting ready to leave for work and told the roofers that this row magnolias was very important to me and please be very careful of them as they worked above them. That night I got home and MeMa met me with tears in her eyes telling me that the roofers dropped tiles down on all but the front Magnolia.

That lone survivor was the first of many plants to be planted at Menagerie Manor. In the spring the fragrance is intoxicating and in summer it shades the front porch from the hot afternoon sun.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Shut It All Down

Mom took me for an extra long walk. Dad can you chase the squirrels out of the yard?

We have been surprised by the number of people that just don’t seem to care about the request from our Governor to stay home. I suspect next week that because of this attitude this request will become an order, like what is going on in California. Today I read that in Warrenton, a small coastal town government officials took a vote and unanimously decided to shut the town down to just residents. All tourists have been given the order vacate the town within 24 hours or they will be arrested. Managers of hotels, motels and the like were to close and order guests to leave town. 
Yesterday our youngest son, wife and our two beautiful granddaughters FaceTimed with us just to say they are well and staying home.  Our eldest son and his wife work at a large bread plant, so are considered essential. Unfortunately they have been given mandatory 11.5 hour shifts. They try to keep the six foot distance from fellow employees but say most of the time it is impossible. 
MeMa and I are doing what has been asked of us and staying home. We have a huge list of things to work on for both outdoors and indoors. We are getting plenty of exercise working on our projects and walking Roxy who surprisingly would rather sit on the back of sofa watching for squirrels.