Monday, April 28, 2014

I stand corrected...

Many thanks to  John Fako who commented on my earlier post about Dead Nettle.   (which is the name someone TOLD me that THIS is:

John said:   "looks like yellow archangel to .me"  so I looked it up and found THIS
 Not only does this seem to be the correct identification, I now know more about this plant.

THIS is one of the primary reasons I love garden blogging.  It expands my knowledge as I reach out to a wider community of folks who appreciate plants.   It has also helped me make some dear friends right here in my own community who I would have met no other way,  like Kim and Victoria over at Our Life in Idaho.

So I own John appreciation on two counts - both for helping me correctly identify this particular patch in my gardens and for bringing me back to this blog.

Spring is exploding with color in my gardens right now. The tulips have been glorious.  I have spent more time appreciating them than writing about them.   I've got photos taken over the past two weeks, just haven't gotten any of it put online yet.    John's comment reminds me why I value this silly little blog.  I promise to be back soon!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Boise Spring Color Explosion

It is full on spring in Boise now.  Yards that get more sun than mine have tulips blooming all over town.  I'm not jealous.  Mine are a couple weeks behind nearly everyone else's, but they will be worth waiting for.  Besides, once April hits we get plenty of color to keep us happy.   The old adage says "April Showers Bring May Flowers".   For us it is almost always March rains that bring the blooms in April, so we are a full month ahead of the rhyme.

This spring will be particularly special for me, as it is the last one I will have here for a while.  Come fall my husband and I plan to leave home for about two years to serve a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   We have a lot to do to get ready.  One of the big things on that list, however, is to savor every day we can here and build memories of our sweet home in Boise.  I know we will miss it.  But I am just as sure that I am ready and excited to serve.

Friday, April 4, 2014

What I'm Reading - And the Mountains Echoed

I am currently listening to the audio version of  "And the Mountains Echoed" by Khaled Hosseini  I have previously read both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid sons, and have enjoyed Hosseini's work immensely.  So it comes as no surprise that I've feeling totally captivated by this book.

This book is described over at with these words:
"...a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page."

I have been very touched by the characters that Hosseini creates,  and as with all of his books feel his deep sense of honor for Afghan culture even while recognizing the parts that may seem brutal.

I like the way this book takes us around to different parts of the world, showing how inter-connected we all are and how are choices continue to send ripples of consequences for generations.

This is a rich, well written book that may become one of my favorites.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I do not like heights.   Perhaps I should rephrase that.  My entrails turn to jelly if I am any higher than 3 steps on a ladder.   So you can imagine my trepidation watching the guy who is up in our 50 foot pine trees.

These trees were planted about 30 years ago.  They are not particularly attractive, and they are far too close to our neighbor's fence.  Before the trimming started, there were branches all over our roof and the neighbor's roof  (of their 2 story house).  They constantly shed needles and pine cones and keep me from being able to grow much of anything in that part of the yard.   So we finally decided it was time to take them both down.

We had several different companies come give us bids on the job.  One guy said he would not take the work for any price - too risky so close to the houses.  Another guy quoted us a price that would have paid for a vacation to Italy.  We had one other guy come out last year who started the job, but clearly he was not prepared for trees this big.  We called it quits with him after a huge section of limb went flying and mangled  the gutter and shingles on the edge of our house.  It took us a full year to get the courage to try again.  This time, however, I think we've found the right men for the job.

I recently signed up for "Nextdoor",  a private social networking site that is specific to neighborhoods.   People use it to let folks in their neighbors know about services that are available, report lost dogs, give warnings of any suspicious behavior to be wary of, and other news relevant to a particular section of town or housing development.  Through that I learned about Mountain Tree Service.   Robert came out to take a look at the job and gave us a more than fair quote.  So we made an appointment that was two weeks out.

Today is the day we were scheduled to have him begin working on this tree removal.  However, I thought he might call to reschedule since it has been raining all day.  Everything is soaking wet.  But no - true to his word, he showed up, right on schedule.

So far I've been pretty impressed with his concern for safety and his respect for my surrounding plants.  Both he and his helper are being as careful as can be reasonably expected to lower big pieces down so they don't just fall and tear up the yard.

I'm excited that these two monster trees are finally going to be gone so I can plan something different for that section of our back yard.  I love trees, but those two will not be missed.

While Robert does the high tree work Brandon manages the ropes and clears brush
Great team work!