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Saturday, July 16, 2011

"OOPS! I Messed Up!!!" How Many Demerits Should I Get?

I am embarrassed to announce that I've screwed up the poll on my sidebar...AAGGHHEE!!!  Recently, I labored and put a survey on my sidebar asking if  you could name the 4 plants in the photo.  It took me three tries to get it on there, and I'll be...I left off the name of one of the plants that is actually in the photo!  So I have given myself a "DEMERIT", or 'boobie' prize, so to speak!  A dead sunflower!  Now a dead sunflower can't be all that bad, I say...I've had them before.

  Oh, I feel another story coming on! 

One year, I decided I wanted to raise sunflowers for cutting, and enjoying inside.  And I wanted to be sure they would have stems at least 10" long in order to work in a vase.  I had a tall, slendor, black ceramic vase that would be perfect for bright, yellow sunflowers.  To the store I went, looking for seeds-sheesh!  There are so many kinds and sizes of sunflowers.  I found a package that said 'up to 12 inches', and grabbed it!  Well, got the seeds planted along the fence row, watched and waited.  Of course, they did come up, but they looked kind of funny-took their time about growing tall.  And the stems were kind of thick.  Oh no, will they be stunted?  NOT ON YOUR LIFE!  The stems became 4 foot stalks, then came the buds-WOW!  And they grew in size too.  I didn't plant the seeds in a large area, but they didn't know it.  Gradually the buds started to open, but kept growing-LO & BEHOLD!  These blooms were mammoth!  I got the package out and read it again...'up to 12 inches' really meant the circumference of the blooms!  What a fluke!  I didn't read beyond the 12 inches...they meant the blooms themselves.  Well, no cut flowers here!  They were lovely, but overpowered some of the other plantings-yet, I couldn't let them go.  And, of course, they had to die out.  Karo to the rescue!  Since the dead blooms didn't fall off on their own, he cut them off-like, with a sword!  Then he dug the seeds from the centers.  This was kind of hard-they will poke you.  Then he spread the seeds out in some old pans we had and set them out in the back yard in various areas.  As more blooms dried out, he did the same.  It was great!  The birds came and feasted for several weeks on all the seeds Karo harvested.  So, in the end, I feel like I made a good choice.  But I DO read the seed packets more carefully now!

Anyway, back to my survey.  I know there were some votes on the survey, mostly correct votes.  And I thank you so much for your votes, but I took the survey off, when no one was looking.  Below is the photo.  CAN you name the plant I left out of the choices?  If so, let me know.

Here are the choices I gave (minus the key plant)
Lilac Bush
Apple Blossoms
Wood Fern
Umbrella Plant

And as a peace offering, here is a short video I shot on July 3rd thru our living room window.  I happened to see a mother cat tending to her kitten between our house and the neighbor's house.  This mama cat is a stray who we've seen in the neighborhood for the past 7 or 8 months.  She appears to be young herself.  And there is only one kitten.  We have since been providing food and water to them in hopes it will keep them healthy and well.  They are leary of us, but have gratefully accepted the food and water.  The other night Karo gave them boiled chicken!  My video isn't the greatest, you can hear our TV and other background noise, including my babbling at times, AND I had to cough in there, so the camera jumps around some.  Please enjoy!

I guess you've noticed the temperature gauge on my sidebar for my side of town.  On Friday, we reached a record temperature in the Fort Worth area for this summer so far of 107 degrees!  And this morning we had a rolling blackout in our neighborhood to conserve on energy-well, all that did was send all of our electronics 'haywire'!  We're really worried about these animals and our beloved husky "Whitey".  Even with large trees in the yard, she can't find a cool spot.  Karo waters down her favorite areas throughout the day, and we have put the sprinkler out in the evenings in an attempt to cool down the back yard.  She won't come inside, so we're doing the best we can.  Whitey is getting on in years, so this heat is a concern, as she clearly is NOT in her element.  She is a rescue dog, that, we believe just got lost from her previous owners.  We've had her for about 9 years-we think.  Below is a photo of Whitey taken December 24, 2009 when we experienced a great snow storm. 

NOW, THIS IS HER ELEMENT!  Trust me, she is smiling!

photo by Karo * Christmas Eve 2009
Merry Christmas Whitey!

So, I just want to ask you all to help out where you can in regards to any animals that may be in dire straits during this horrible heat wave!  Even tho we can't save them all, maybe a drink of cool, clean water and anything that can be spared for nourishment will make a difference. 


Thank you my 'cool' readers for stopping by...I don't know about you-but MY TEXAS GARDENS are burning up!  My white oleander, however, is starting to bloom now.  Some things just love the scorching heat.   Last nite, I went to pick up dinner from 'Taco Cabana' and they had a lovely display of white periwinkles on the patio, that are some other heat-loving plants!  I marveled at them, since I don't have any this year.  Well, maybe next time!  And, my 'gardenia' plants are trying to come back-in this heat!  Maybe by fall they will be healthy enough for a few blooms!

Please come by anytime and say hello!  I always enjoy hearing from you. 

Thank You:  Google, YouTube, Yahoo Images AND a cool thanks to Whitey!

"Bring me the Sunflower CRAZED with the love of light."
~Eugenio Montale


  1. i was just visiting another blogger from texas...who also talks about burning up...and no rain in sight! it's a tough time for everyone...animals & plants included...when the temps reach that triple digit mark! yikes!

    it's good of you to look after the strays...and that mama cat looks content...

    Whitey is beautiful!! maybe if you show her the picture with the snow on her back...she;ll feel worked for me!

    i missed your survey... :(

    i don't have very good luck with sunflowers. i plant seeds every year...and i can only remember having TWO that successfully made it to full sunny faces!

    surprisingly, my gardenias have a few blooms! must be all the unusual rain we're having! (sorry!)

    well...hopefully this heat wave will subside soon...fill up that kiddie pool...set up the sprinkler...and splash around...

  2. Those sunflowers must have been HUGE!! The size of a dinner plate...

    YouTube is loading now, so will go back and watch the kitty mom.

    So sorry you are having all that heat; 107, ouch. Keep those little critters and yourself cool.

  3. Hello Susan,
    Oh my goodness, that is such a funny story about your sunflowers... it's just what I'd do too - read as far as you think you need to. Those heads must've been heavy too. I bet all the birds thanked you though. Our birds go crazy for the sunflower seeds that are in our wildbird seedmix - they're picked out first.

    The cat and her kitten are very lucky to have come across you and Karo - boiled chicken ... they'll be yours for life I'm thinking ;-)

    My goodness it sounds so hot over there at the moment. I feel for Whitey with her thick coat - it must be such a relief when Karo hoses down her spots in the yard. My hubby does that for his chooks in the heat too - they love to nestle in the mud puddles to keep cool. At the moment they're all cuddling together in the roost to stay warm!!
    Love the photo of Whitey - such gorgeous eyes.

    Considering the heat, your garden sounds like it's putting up a brave front... obviously all the TLC you give it Susan.

    Anyway, keep up your health drinks and look after yourself and I hope you're back to feeling a bit more human real soon. Cheerio :D)

  4. * Laura-that's rain in sight. But it was a couple of degrees cooler today-HA! And we do feel so bad for animals that seem to be without. I'm glad we can help out some.

    Sunflowers are like wildflowers around here. When I lived out in the country, they were everywhere...of course, they attract dove, which attract hunters! Kudos to your Gardenias! I can't believe mine are coming back from the winter freeze. There's hope yet!

    Thanks for coming by-Whitey is a beautiful dog, and a loving dog. Too bad we can't take her somewhere cooler for the summer. I will show her the picture as you suggested, she will probably laugh in my fact! Happy 'shroom hunt Laura!

    * Nancy. The sunflowers were so large and thick, it took Karo forever to cut those heads in half to get the seeds out. And the petals were small, which was funny. Thank you for coming by. According to the Farmer's Almanac, August is supposed to be a bit cooler with some rain in our area! We'll see, won't we?

    * Susan. The sunflower caper was hilarious, and it was funny watching Karo work on getting those seeds out for the birds. Well, he likes a good challenge. I'm just glad we can help the mama cat and her kitten. They don't want to move in either. They're pretty shy of us. I guess they will eventually move on.

    Thank you so much for the get well flower card, which I have saved to put on my sidebar. I am feeling some better, hardly coughing at all today and I've got my story-writing engine warmed up! Have a great week Susan!

  5. Haha! love the story about the sunflowers. I know that type of sunflower, I think, they grow about 10 ft high and spread out about 6 ft wide. If it was me I'd have tried the sunflowers myself too, not to deprive the birds. But they do taste delicious when roasted if you like those kind of whole foody recipes.

  6. Hi Jenny Woolf! You're right. We did try the sunflowers, and they were good. But, I didn't think about roasting them. Food for thought, eh? Thanks for coming by and I'm glad you liked the story. Come back any time!

  7. hahaha.....that's just how i read things!!!!

  8. Hi Debbie! Well, I'm glad to know that makes a few of us. I try to be more careful now. But I was amazed that the sunflowers did get as large as the packet said they would! Thanks for stopping by, and come back anytime!


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