Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thirty eight years ago I was a kid applying for employment at a large Veterinary Hospital that specialised in bone surgery. I was just fresh here in the States after growing up in England and Europe, and was excited to have been hired almost straight away. One of the younger Doctors was taking me around and introducing me to all the staff. While we were standing in the minor surgery room the door to the next surgery was suddenly kicked open and a beautiful young nurse about my age came bursting through carying an unconscious and exceedingly fat Schnauzer. The good Doctor introduced the burdened beauty and as she gave forth the most amazing smile the dogs bladder emptied down the front of her light blue surgical smock. I stammered out "cccan I hhhhhelp" to which she answered "nope, you will get plenty of your own". And off she disappeared through another set of doors. I knew at that time this lovely women would some day be my wife. We are celebrating our thirty sixth Anniversary today. Life has been very good to us and we have our health and wonderful children and grandchildren. So love, the first thirty six were great, lets go another round?
Of all the seasons and Holidays that we decorate for I have always enjoyed the fourth of July. Unfortunately along with all the banners and flags one must put up with .....yuk....fireworks! I despise them or should I say I despise the stupidity of the people who set them off. In our state the large rockets are illegal but Oregon resident just cross state lines into Washington State and purchase them. There arent enough Police to monitor those who choose to ignore the law and fire them off. At around eight in the evening Mema and I retire to the theater room which is in the bowels of the Manor and with us are our dogs, our younger sons two Chihuahua's and our eldest son's Boston Bull. We make an endless supply of popcorn and watch movie after movie with the volume turned up so loud that one would assume very deaf people lived here. Early in the afternoon we make sure all guests have had sufficient "walkies" and eliminated as much as possible as when the evening comes there will not be any intermissions, if you know what I mean. I found a lovely little spray bottle of "calming" elixir at our local Pet supply store. It is all natural and simply helps calm them without creating a room full of snoring canine. Every hour or so I alone venture out to the garden to pick up debris from the illegal rockets. I turn on the floodlights grab a dip net and scoop more debris from the fish pond. We have water pressure here at Menagerie Manor that the fire department would be envious of so I set hoses around various parts of the garden in case stupidity results in a structure or tree fire. During all the revelry the air is so thick with sulfur and smoke I should be sporting a face mask. After all is over we spend the first few early hours of the next day filling one of my fifty gallon yard barrels with debris left strewn about the street. Regardless of the thoughtlessness of others my patriotism to the freedom this beautiful country affords us all drives me to show my love by dressing the old girl up in all the flags and banners.So its six days and counting.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
No really you do, because you can't kill them....it's the law! I can't imagine anyone wanting to kill such a beautiful bird but they can be frustrating. Last Friday I had just returned home from the office and went out to the garden to feed my Koi fish when I was greeted with a rather frustrated sort of honk. Looking straight down from the garden room roof was this Great Blue Heron. I ran back into the house and grabbed up my camera but when I dashed back out it flew to the "Crazy Cat Ladies" roof next door, so was unable to get any closer. The character would fly from roof to roof when it thought I wasn't looking. After about two hours it gave one more disgusted honk and winged off into the sunset
Friday, June 4, 2010
Viola banksii "Tasmanian Violet"
I'm always on the prowl for something different and this little gem caught my eye at a small family run nursery. I had no idea it was in the viola family as the leaf looks more like a large version of Cymbalaria muralis (Ivy-leaved toad-flax or Kenilworth Ivy) which I have growing everywhere at the Manor, and the flower is similar in color as well. Unfortunately the days of non-stop rain continue so I have stored it in a cool corner of the greenhouse.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Growing my tomato's in a metal stock tank was a brilliant idea, and the proof is in this photo. With temperatures in the forties and fifty's and a deluge of rain daily for weeks on end. I'm certain that the combination of the little sun we have gotten warming the metal of the tank and the soil additives I mentioned in my previous tomato post have something to do with these results. I can almost taste the green tomato pie!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The Three Amigo'sIn June of 2001 Mema and I were on Holiday with some good friends at their summer beach house in the lovely little coastal town of Neskowin. One afternoon we decided to walk into town as the house was just on the outskirts. As we approached a footbridge that crossed into the town square our friend Pam, whose father had built the house, told us that her father used to bring her here to this very spot by a large Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) next to the footbridge to fish. It brought tears of joy rememboring those wonderful times of her childhood. Her father is long gone but the footbridge and the tree still stand. As the others set off across the bridge I held back long enough to snip off three cuttings. On our return to Menagerie Manor I rooted the three cuttings and had every intention of giving them to Pam and her husband George to plant in their little garden but when offered they declined saying the reason they have little in their garden was because neither of them could grow anything. Pam asked if I could plant them in our garden but knowing that they could become quite invasive I decided to make them into a Bonsai Tree. We refer to it as The Three Amigo's in reference of the three couples that vacationed together in that sunny little town called Neskowin.