October 11th, 2011

Over the summer, I bought one of my favorite plants, a beautiful flowering plant that loves the hot Texas sun called purslane and planted them in our front flowerbed. The way our house is arranged, we’re still learning which areas get sun for how long, and which areas need what kind of plants. I decided to plant only one to see how it does.

Found an area that gets sunlight most of the day. After digging through the hard dry Texas clay, (remember we had a million days of over 100 degree heat and no rain) I got that puppy in the ground and sat back to watch to see how it did.

The next day, it looked a little puny. I chalked it up to being in shock after being transplanted so I just watered it and talked to it nicely and made a note to check on it the next day.

Come day 2 and the flowers seemed to have fallen off and disappeared into the wind. Okaaay….let’s water it again and surely by tomorrow, it will have settled in, perked up and be blooming with new growth.

Not so. Day 3 – no flowers, no perking up, and the plant seemed to be a lot smaller than when I’d planted it. Weird!

Day 4? No frickin’ plant left in the ground! There was actually a small hole where the plant had been!

I happen to look across to the neighbor’s yard and among their bushes I detected some long ears and a twitching nose and, I swear it’s true, the rabbit was grinning at me!

We had seen rabbits quite often in our yard, but it never occured to me they’d eat my flowers. What was I thinking!

So, fast forward to last weekend. I also love pansies and like to plant them in the fall because some will last until spring even with snow and frost. One of the nurseries was having a sale on them, so off we go and loaded up on several plats of colorful flowers. We trek home and cleaned out the containers in front and planted some and was pretty proud of how they looked. Still having lots of plants left, I got all my gardening supplies together and started an assembly line all the way across the front flower beds.

Scoop away the mulch, dig through the now WET, heavy clay, throw a little potting soil in hole, add a bit of fertilizer, plant flower, fill in hole with more potting soil, respread the mulch.

Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

And GW helped. Since it was supposed to rain that night, he spread fertilizer in the yard and then watered the plants as I planted them. And then lay in the grass next to me until I’d say something like, ‘Babe, I need more potting soil in the bucket.’ or ‘Babe, what’s this gross white worm I just dug up?’ or ‘Babe, rabbits don’t eat pansies, do they?’

Of course they do. So GW gets up, goes to the garage and comes out and starts spraying something near the first flowers I planted. The wind had been gentle breeze, and being upwind was very comfortable while I labored over a hot flowerbed.

Until I smelled something that reminded me of a wet diaper, but stronger and stinkier.

‘Babe, what’s that smell???’

He remembered we’d bought a can of Rabbit Repellent. Smart man.

So far, the rabbits have left the pansies alone. Smart rabbits.


October 3rd, 2011

I adore you!

Let me count the ways:

1. Much cooler weather (of course, anything below 90 here in Texas is considered ‘not hot’). That delightful crispness in the air that sometimes surprises with a ‘bite’ to it. The wind whipping a kaleidoscope of fallen leaves around the neighborhood and the crunch of them under your feet.

2. Changing of the colors – brighter and more vivid with everything everywhere. Reds, golds, orange, yellows, browns. Just don’t blink because it doesn’t last long around here. But it does happen and it’s definitely worth the not blinking.

3. Fall decorations. At night, pumpkins and scarecrows and hay bales and ghosts just magically appear on lawns and porches.

4. The craving for my husband’s bean soup chunked full of veggies and ham. Or my chicken and sausage and okra gumbo. And don’t forget pumpkin pie, apple cobbler, banana bread and anything cinnamom. YUMmmm…!

5. My Starbucks order that changes from an icy cold, tall, skinny cafe vanilla frappucino to the hot, creamy pumpkin spice latte or the salted carmel mocha. Or whipped cream atop hot chocolate. Sometimes with a side order of a pumkin cream cheese muffin. So very decadent!

6. Sandals and capris, tennis shoes and shorts morphing into jeans and those cool boots that are so popular and never go out of style. Wearing socks around the house.

7. The sound of football game each Sunday. Notice I said ‘sound’ of. Not that I like to necessarily ‘watch’ the games, although I do pull for the Cowboys. But just having it on it’s so, well… fall-ish. And traditional. And who can give up tradition?

8. Snuggling together in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate or cider or a glass of wine, and watching TV, or reading a book, or just laughing and talking the night away.

9. Halloween! My favorite! The pumpkins, the decorations, the fall flowers, the trick or treaters, the costumes, the candy!

10. And last but not least, knowing that holidays are just right around the corner. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years.

Autumn! The best time of year. How can anyone NOT love you!


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