Olbrich Gardens

It was a lovely but maybe a little hot. It is a nice garden there were a lot of purple and blue flowers blooming, and a Thai pavilion covered in gold leaf. A lot of tropical or semi tropical looking plants that I am not sure how they manage in winter. Some paths were not accessible due to nesting. My coworker is lonely and bored, so the garden was just the thing.

My echinacea is blooming, but something is eating the petals. I found two japanese beetles and killed them today, first of the season. Wonder if the milky spore helped. I can always reapply in late summer. Crab Apple does not look so good – the fungus is bad and it has been a wet year. I should have it looked at and see if it is worth getting it pruned. The weeping cherry looks ok, so hopefully it will continue to thrive. One of the arbor vitae looks to be a goner, but the rest may pull through.

9 days post trip and no symptoms

So far, so good. A little hard to get back into the swing of things, I think it is easier, or maybe less noticeable when ou go back to normalcy, but I flowed from being on vacation to working from home. I did work on site the first two days back, then went back to working from home and had a hard time focusing. In part also due to having issues like who will care for my kitties on our next trip, how an I gonna get my homework done and turned in efore the due date that coincides with my next trip, and why isn’t the AC working? Oh, you’re supposed to clean that? Ahh.

I have enough snow peas for a stir fry or salad for 2. I have plenty of rhubarb and made blueberry rhubarb sauce – Bluebarb? Rhuberry? I like it and it is a nice color.

Spinach done, lettuce needs to be eaten, but where are my tomatoes? I should plant more lettuce to see if I can have some for my future BLTs. Well, I think I will have a cup of coffee and then go meet a friend to walk in a local botanical garden.

And back again!

Ahh, so nice to see friends, so good to be home. Only got pulled over once, which is a plus. Came back the southern route and there were annoying stretches where the road was one lane in each direction, so if you want to pass, you have to go into the oncoming lane. Something feels so wrong about accelerating past 90 mph when you can see a semi in front of you. Loved teh turnpike – few on/off ramps, smooth driving, little traffic. The cats were ready to see us when we got home!

I am now harvesting snow peas. The spinach bolted, lettuce looks good. Basil is flowering early, so I pinched it back. The scarlet runners are just starting to bloom. The zukes are coming along – no flowers yet. Tomato is flowering but the first eggplant flower did not bear fruit. Chard and kale are coming along. My echinacea flowers are going strong and the daisies will be opening up any day now.

Oh, and one of my arbor vitae did not make it. Not sure what I did wrong, but the others look ok. I hope they don’t go one by one! I would be so sad! Some more pics from my road trip. My chariot after a hand wash to get the bugs out of his teeth, some farmland, and saguaros from the high desert of Arizona.

Here is my new little buddy:

20200620 black swallowtail caterpillar

In the end, D was glad to have gone. There was a brief moment in Utah – we had checked out of the hotel and were gassing up, getting ready to hit the road, when at the pumps next to us, a white state trooper who had also just checked out of the same hotel was hassling a black man. I do not know what about, I do not know if it was justified, but I tend to think it was not in that he seemed to be citing the guy for a tail light being out and telling him he had to sign or go to jail. I had this image flash before me of one of them pulling a gun, things go south and my husband is shot, his last words: I told you this trip was a bad idea! It didn’t play out that way, so everything de-escalated and we left. Oh, some states consider windshield washers to be a no-no. Too many people touching them, I guess, but it is high bug splatter season. Everything else was very relaxed. Restaurants were open. I wish I had realized sooner that hair salons are open there, I’d have gotten a cut. So shaggy!

Thousands of miles

You see so much when you travel thousands of miles Rolling farmland, flat prairie, tall mountains. unspeakably beatiful desert canyons and finally, the calm shores of the Pacific Ocean. The scent of eucalyptus and sagebrush. The brackish salt smell near the marina. The bluer than blue skies, devoid of clouds. The shocking bright colors of the bouganvilla, the architectural shapes of the desert plants.



The sunshine is strong here. The mood relaxed. Haven’t seen the news in days. Rome could be burning for all I know.

Furlough Day 1

So here it is, my first of four days off without pay. I am forbidden to do any work while on furlough, so of course I had an e-mail from someone at the vet school asking for some information. I sent her the information this morning, with the idea that my workday does not start until 8 am, so technically, it was still the weekend!

It should be very hot today, so I am about to go on a long bike ride while the temperatures are still pleasant. We will have rain for the next few days, heavy at times, fallout from tropical storm Cristobal that is wreaking havoc on the gulf states.

When I get back, I will do housework, laundry and get going on week three of the class I am taking. I will not have a lot of time later in the week, so I want to get most of the work done today and tomorrrow so I can just review and refine my assignments later in the week, rather than doing the assignment on Friday and turning in Sunday morning.

Well, it is nearly 70 F out, so I had better get going on my ride! soon it will be more like 90!


Ahh, Sunday! Slept in, drank coffee while I finished my homework for this week. Ran to the store and got a few things. Went outside to see if I could remove the damaged branch from the crabapple. My neighbor, shaking his head told me I would be there until next year trying to remove such a big limb with a pruning saw. He went at it with a sawzall, but the battery didn’t have much juice, so he went and got the big guns: a small chainsaw and got the job done. Thanks!

I observed my garden for a while, verified that a hole near my radishes is indeed a bumbebee hole, not a rodent hole. I also saw some dragonflies and a honeybee at my salvia

Salvia 060720

Most of the insects were too fast for my camera skills, but I did take some pics of what is blooming/ready to bloom!

Also, the kale may have finally sprouted. Last year I has so much kale I couldn’t eat it all!

Working on the tree

Ooof, I cut the remaining branch down from the damaged area. I still need to clean it up. Maybe tomorrow…I cut the downed branches to manageable pieces and dragged the to the edge of my garden so they can become a base for my next expansion. I also trimmed the lilacs a bit and looked at my arbor vitae. Some don’t look so good. Some look quite good. I have the sump watering them at the moment. Then I can check on the weeping cherry and see if it needs any water. I removed any dead looking bits.

The echinacea is starting to put on blossoms, as are the daisies. The salvia is in bloom and I saw bumblebees visiting it. My garden seem slow, but it always feels that way in June before I have naything to eat. I have one blossom on my little eggplant. The peas and beans are growing well and the squash plants look good. The spinach is going to seed – I am eating it and some lettuce. The dill has been a tasty treat and I put a little tarragon in my last salad. Nice! Plenty of arugula, which is how I like it! I have a few nasturium seedlings and maybe one calendula. They really didn’t come up by the back door this year – why? Maybe the new gutters really prevent water from getting to them?

Vacation During Covid AND Civil Unrest

Or not?

I am on the verge of tears. My husband is completely skeeved out by the violent protests, the storm troopers – the assault of a 75 year old man in buffalo was the final straw. Now he doesn’t want to go! I am trying to appeal to reason but he has been mainlining news since this all started and is convinced that the government sanctioned violence is everywhere. I told him “we aren’t going to NY or DC.” He cited unrest in Los Angeles. “but we aren’t going to Los Angeles,” I plead. He says it is everywhere. I try to convince him that it is simply not true that the violence is everywhere. I told him that there was not any violence in North Platte, NE, where I figured we would spend the first night. Nor in Salinas, UT, where we will be on the second night. He said our friend’s son got teargassed in San Diego. I reply, yes, but he WENT TO THE PROTEST, and we are not going to San Diego, nor to any protests. I am more the write to congresspeople and senators type.  I have marched in protests before, and my rule of thumb is that the second you see things getting tense, you move in the opposite direction as quickly as is reasonable. Where we are going, they had but one afternoon of peaceful protest in a park.

I told him to remember the WTO protests in Seattle. The protest started at SCCC, where he was taking classes. He didn’t like the looks of things, so he went home. He then called me at work and said I should come home. I said no, they will stay downtown. He said the police were chasing the protesters out of downtown. I told him that very few people are fit enough to run uphill. They will stay on the flat and head north or south, not east. I worked as usual and never saw a soul except on TV later. I was not far from where the action was, but I still did not see anything, did not fear for my safety. The thing is, the news puts the most snesational stuff on and play it over and over until you go crazy or numb.

We will be on the freeway and it is unlikely that there will be further freeway blockages, and we can divert around them if there are. The only major city that we will go though is Denver, and even then, we can take the route that skirts the city if we wish. I am simply not worried. But how to convince my man when we have a moron bent on tearing the country apart as a president? I have to find a way. I want this. I could pull the birthday card and tell him it is what I want for my birthday, but that even might not be enough. I should stop paying for cable so he can’t OD on news.

Sun Prairie Public Works Team is Awesome!

So, not one, but two big branches came down from my crab apple. Poor thing has enough trouble with fungal disease and whatnot. Under the bark that was ripped away, it was red like blood.

So, I had to run in to work for an appointment this morning, and when I got back, I checked when the next brush pickup was. Oh. It started on June first. Damn. I called the City Offices and they transferred me to public works. The woman who assisted me said she would check and see if they had already done my street. I explained that I had not intended to have any brush, but my tree had other ideas. I worked like a dog with my felco hand pruner and pruning saw, dragging everything out to the curb. The guys came with the chipper and voila! Gone! OK, I still have the heavy bits, because it was too hot to continue, and anyway, I want to bury that wood under my garden expansion. I also need to cut the rest of the jagged bit off the tree. That should be fun. Chainsaw free. First step will be to remove the remaining branch that is attached above the broken part, as it won’t probably do well. Next, cut the wood to below the damaged part. Finally, cut it all into manageable pieces and bury in front of my garden. I think I will just put flowers there this year. I should really have an arborist look at the tree and see about having it trimmed up. There is some dead wood that should come out and a lot of water sprouts that I can’t reach. D wisely said No. No ladders for tree trimming. If you can’t reach it, get a pole saw or hire someone.