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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Gardening and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)

I come by it honestly.  I get it from my mom.  She cannot pass up a yard sale or a good bargain, no matter what it is or whether or not she needs it.  (Well, . . . to be fair . . . that has actually changed now! :-) ) But, I remember once, I believe it was when I was still in high school, we were out shopping and happened upon the clearance section.   She saw this amazing thing and just thought it was a magnificently good price.  

I believe our conversation went something like this:

Mom:  "Wow, this is a good price!"  holding it in her hands and turning it over and over, examining it with great glee.  "I think this is a really good price!", practically smacking her lips in anticipation of having found THE find of the decade.

Me, staring dubiously at it:  "What is it?"

Mom:  "I don't know, but it sure looks like this is a great price.  Go ask somebody what it is."

And being the perfect child that I was and am, I'm sure I obediently and cheerfully scampered off to inquire what it was, . . . this thing that we just had to have.

Well, if memory serves, it turned out to be something like a bracket to hold a tape deck or something, and I believe she did buy it.  But, whether we actually used it or not . . .    ;-)   Of course, my mom may have a wee bit of a different take on the story, but essentially, that is how it went.   . . .  ummm, . . . well, I may have taken a little bit of artistic license with the story . . . but, . . . it's mostly the way it happened . . .  ;-)

So, it truly is not my fault that when I go into an art store for one colored pencil, I end up buying a dozen pencils, some paper, and maybe some paints, etc.  It is not my fault that when I walk into a bookstore, just to pick up one book or magazine, I walk out with $100 worth of stuff.  And, I can't be held accountable for when I go to buy embroidery floss and have to have one of every color they have.  Or, when I buy coloring books (no, I have NOT grown up), I end up with dozens of them.  And then, like today, when I went to the nursery just to buy some compost and sphagnum moss for my planters, I ended up buying two more trees.

Two more trees.  I think that I may have mentioned before that I already have too many trees.  You'd think I live on a farm like my dear cousin over on her 9 acre farm with room for an orchard.  But, no, I live in the city on a very, very teeny tiny parcel of land.  Roughly about 40 feet by 50 feet, of which about 800+ square feet is taken up by my house and another 200 square feet, or so, is taken up by my driveway.  And, . . . well, you get the picture.  

As you can see, that leaves very little space for trees.  And I now have 11 trees.  Well, twelve, . . . if you count the dragon fruit cactus, which will get as large as some of my trees!  Granted, the trees I buy are of the dwarf variety, but honestly! ! ! !  I would say it is a sickness, but I think I have already established that it is a genetic thing!

Well, anyway, the reason I was put in danger of this new tree spree is the weather this past week.  We went from torrential rains (ok, a little bit of an exaggeration, but we did get lots for a long period of time), and freezing temps (ok, another slight exaggeration, but we Southern Californians are a spoiled lot, if we have to get out a sweater or jacket, it counts as being freezing) to the most beautiful weather in the world, which is why we all crowd in here like ants on candy.  It has been perfect.  Spring fever has officially struck.  This was a perfect weekend.  Blue skies, warm temps, slight breeze . . . just balmy!  The kind of weather that makes you want to be outside.  Even now, as I write this at about 7pm, I have the windows open and it is just heavenly.  You get the picture . . . anyway . . . 

So, yesterday I got brave and decided to finally tackle the removal of all the rest of the dead basil bushes that had taken over my back yard.  I got them all out but one before I gave up exhausted.  Well, before you decide I'm a complete and total wimp, you should have seen the size of those babies!  And, I had already weeded the rest of the yard and still had to do the watering.  (Shhhhhhh . . . don't tell my cousin how many baby tomato plants I had to pull up.  The basil will soon be trying to come up again, too.  Thousands more little seedlings I'll have to pull up. The joy just never ends!)  

I should probably have taken the time today to take out that last lone basil skeleton, but . . . I was sooooo over that task and sooooo ready to move on to getting closer to having my planters ready to plant.  So, after hitting the local farmer's market as I do on Sundays, and after I had gotten the rest of my shopping done, I headed over to the nursery and got the compost and moss, and as everyone knows, when you do that, you MUST pick up a grapefruit tree and a peach tree.  There is just no getting around it.  I think it is a law or something.  Besides, the grapefruit tree already has about 5 grapefruits that are almost ready to pick!  So, my official tree count is now this: 1 lemon tree, 1 Meyer lemon tree, 1 lime tree, 1 orange tree, 1 grapefruit tree, 1 peach tree, and 5 plumeria trees (3 white, 1 pink, 1 red).  Hmmmmm, looks like I will have to learn how to espalier the fruit trees in order to be able to actually walk through this little patch of heaven on earth that I call home . . . .  Honestly, what was I thinking? ? ? ? ? ?  And, if truth be told, I would have to confess that I was even eyeballing the apple and cherry trees, too!  And, with the cherry trees, you have to get two varieties for pollination! ! ! !  Aiii-yai-yai!

Anyway, when I got home, I got the soil mixed and some of the planters ready, but there are a lot more waiting.  Perhaps next weekend I can get the rest of the soil ready and in and start planting! ! Yayyy! ! ! !  But, it's going to take another trip to the nursery . . . perhaps I need a bit of a tree intervention before I go back . . . 

Speaking of shopping . . . after I got what I needed at the farmer's market, I headed over to the supermarket to get the rest of the things on my list.  I was just walking through one of the aisles, minding my own business, and just look at what jumped right off the shelf and right into my basket!  The cheek! ! ! 

Do you remember the email that went around a while back about the 5 minute chocolate cake recipe that you can make in the microwave in your coffee cup with just a few ingredients?  Well, . . . .  these are even worse.  All you do is add a few teaspoons of water to the mix (mix well), squeeze the caramel or fudge pouch over it and microwave for 30 seconds.  30 seconds, people! ! ! !  You then get tortured, because you have to wait 2 long minutes, just staring intently at it while it taunts you mockingly with its gooey goodness before you can dig in.  Instant molten caramel cake and instant molten chocolate cake!  Somebody needs to be punished! ! ! !  I haven't tried them yet, but I hope they suck.  If they don't . . . . I could be in serious trouble.  This is just WRONG! ! ! ! !  Wrong, I tell ya!

The photos in this post are of some of the pages out of my coloring books.  I use colored pencils (I love Prismacolor® - they now make watercolor pencils - you just color like you do with a pencil then brush with water - but I just use the regular color pencils for my stuff.)  My cousin thought that I should share them, so here they are!  Proof that you are never too old to color?  ;-)  

Colored pencil does not seem to photograph well.  At least not in the light I have available.  Some of them come out looking a little grainy or spotty, but they are not that way on the original.  Also, the pages didn't stay flat when I was trying to photograph them, so some of them are a little curved . . . you see that in the text at the bottom of some of them.  The text is really straight at the bottom, not curved!  But, hopefully, you will enjoy them even with these imperfections!  And, just a note - not all of the flower pictures are from the same book.

The one above is just getting started.  I only have a little of the indigo undershading started.  It takes me forever to do one because of all the layers of color I put on them.  I have dozens of books, . . .  and if I never bought another coloring book, it would still take me the rest of my life to get the ones I already have all colored!

I couldn't share any pics of my garden in progress, 'cuz it is just waaaayyyyy too messy out there right now.  But, maybe when I get it all ready, if it comes out the way I hope . . . .  We'll see!

Anyway, gotta scoot for now!  See ya' later!


  1. Good site...lots of good info. Keep up the good work. I'll be back!!

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by to visit and for your kind words! I love feedback! I look forward to your next visit! :-)