A Troublesome Cat and a Great Vacuum

June 9th, 2012

Hello everyone and happy weekend to you!  We have plans to do some gardening and attend a friend’s wedding, the weather should be perfect!  But first, please allow me to share a recent phenomenon in our household and then tell you how we deal with it.

Our youngest member of the family is Coco the kitten and she is very mischievous and her latest fascination is with toilet paper.  Is this a common thing with cats?  I don’t know, but it never fails when friends come over, she engages in her latest wily maneuver which is a full blown attack on a roll of toilet paper.  We laugh, but I haven’t been able to keep the stuff on the holders or nicely stacked in baskets for weeks for fear of inevitable destruction.

Charmin is like catnip and it sends Coco into a tizzy and it’s typical for her to drag a roll across the house, bat it around like a mouse, and then attack it with frenzied claws.  When caught, she always has this look on her face.

cat and tp

 

Hold that image in your head while I fill you in on our vacuum situation.  The vacuum we’ve had for ten years is great, but it’s a beast – not a fun one to work with for the sole reason it weighs a ton and hurts my back to lift it.  Since we have a lot of carpet upstairs and several area rugs downstairs, I confess I procrastinate in my vacuuming duties and always ask Matt if he can help me with the chore.  One time it literally ate the edge of an area rug and I’ve been bitter ever since.

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Growing Healthy Hydrangeas

June 7th, 2012

I get asked a lot by friends and passing neighbors about the hydrangeas in our front yard.  We’ve been growing ours for over a decade and have several healthy plants that frame the porch ever summer, and I look forward to the multiple and easy bouquets they produce each year. 

There are dozens of varieties of hydrangeas, most are classified as mophead with ball shaped blooms or lacecap with flat delicate clusters.  We have three different varieties of mophead hydrangeas in our yard, the white ‘Anabelle’, the raspberry ‘Pink Shira’ and the delicate pink ‘Macrophylla’ by the front door.  

front yard hydrangeas

Truth is, we got lucky with this mophead variety in our front yard years ago.  We also planted a few bushes in our backyard (which gets hot afternoon sun) and we utterly failed trying to grow them there.  However, these hydrangeas in our east facing front yard grow healthy and tall with dozens of mophead blooms every year, and with minimal effort.  The lesson?  The biggest factor that contributes to healthy hydrangea growth is absolutely location. 

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