Sunday, February 24, 2013

Prickly plants!

I LOVE cacti! I started a couple years ago with a golden barrel cactus I bought in Phoenix at a flea market. It came in a gallon container. Spike is huge now and I got to see flowers this year.

I planted the "twins" (twin towers) last year. They were given to me by some dear friends. We noticed a week ago that a new arm was sprouting. Terry thought we needed to remove it but I said no. I want to see what it is going to do.

We picked up two other cactus "leaves" laying on the ground. We saw them while on our walk. We picked them up and planted them in pots. Neither one did much in the pots, so Terry transplanted them last week. Wow! What a difference it made to put them in the ground. The one is growing straight up and the other has put out two new paddles on the top! I can't imagine what they will look like when we return here next fall.

The cacti do seem to grow faster and larger in the summer when it is so hot. That seems strange, but they actually don't do much in the winter when temps are cooler. I am going to measure them so I know how much they have grown.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

It's been a busy winter here for me in south Texas. But we are now wrapping up our time here and are starting to get things ready for our departure.

I have gotten most of the jobs done I had planned to do while here with a few things still to do. I hope to finish the sewing I started for Aenea and I think I will be able to complete that. Today I cleaned out the closets in the Texas Room and put everything in giant zip lock bags. I'm not sure if that was necessary, but if I didn't do that, I am sure I would want to wash everything when I get back next fall. So the bags should do the trick. I also had brought some things out to the room from the motorhome and managed to get that back inside. I am leaving a few clothes here. I brought down some Christmas sweaters which I didn't want to carry with me in the motorhome for lack of space. So I am leaving those here so they are ready for next year.

I have been picking up items from the yard. I have some solar lights I put out every year and those have now been brought in. Terry planted two new cactus starts. Both are different varieties from what we have planted. In addition to Spike blooming (my golden barrel cactus), one of the "twins" is sprouting babies at the base, so that will look different when we get back next fall. We will have to work hard to keep the cacti trimmed because it does like to take over an area. Hopefully that won't be too difficult.

Last evening was the Elm Street dinner. That's Mom and Dad's street. Mom went over and worked some. She came home from working and we all went over and ate dinner. Roast chicken was served along with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans, a roll and cake for dessert. Also available was coffee and tea. It was good  but the chicken pieces were very large and we both brought home half of our portion. I think tomorrow I will be making chicken salad.

It has been getting warmer the last couple days. Mornings and evenings are quite nice. We still walk 2.6 miles every morning with the temps around 66-69 degrees. Very comfy. Then during the day today it got over 90 and was pretty hot. We were working under the canopy and there is a breeze between the Texas Room and the motorhome, so even outside we are quite comfortable. We ride our bikes the same distance in the evening and sometimes we ride longer.

Tomorrow it promises to be warm again and I will be able to finish up my sewing. We also are having our ladies' luncheon at the hall on Saturday and I have a salad to make for it tomororw.

Till next time. . .


Friday, February 08, 2013

Landscapes in Texas

We have beautiful sunrises and sunsets here in Texas. This one is actually a sunrise, although it looks more like twilight. We get out every morning and walk 2.6 miles. If it's cold, we may have to walk later in the day, but we always try to do it early. Many times it is still dark when we get out and hit the pavement. It takes us 50 minutes to walk our route, so we are usually greeted by the sun beginning to show over the horizon.

Last year our Golden Barrel cactus Spike bloomed sometime after we left. No one saw the blooms, so I didn't know what they looked like. Early last month I noticed there were many more "flowers" pushing up from the crown. They look dark and kind of like straw and there are many that are breaking the surface. Yesterday I snapped a picture of one flower that finally did bloom. If all the buds continue to pop up and out, there could be about a dozen blooms on Spike. The dried blooms from last year are still on there and at the base of those you can see seed pods growing. Baby cactus! Whoo hoo. I read about harvesting the seeds and it sounds like a lot of work and I really don't know what I'm doing with that, so I will probably just wait and see what happens. I assume that the seed pods can be snipped off and just planted. Hmmmm. All our cactus are doing extremely well. I enjoy the desertscape here. We have two new cacti to plant that we picked up off the ground when they were trimmed from other plants.

The last few days I have been busy making a baby quilt for Aenea. I hate the pinks they have in the fabric stores. Too gawdish. So I found some lavender flannel prints and used those. It turned out beautiful and I hope she will enjoy using it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Ronan's is still being used a lot. I made him a camping quilt so he would like to sleep in the tent. I didn't really make them to be family heirlooms, but to be serviceable blankets.

We have a Valentine's dinner next week we are going to. Should be good.  We will be here for three more weeks. Then we start our trek out of the valley and east to see the kids, then to Indy for doctor appointments.

We are getting things in order for the start of our Alaska trip on May 22!

Till next time. . .