Monday, June 15, 2015

The Hunted by Charlie Higson

This is the sixth book in "The Enemies" series.  We get to see what life is like in the English countryside for the first time since the series began.  Kids have set up fortified places to live in places like Ascot and Windsor.

They do scavenging supply runs as their London counterparts do, but the zombies are less dense out there.  

Our heroine this time around is Ella. At the end of the last novel she had struck out into the countryside with a small group.  They were attacked and presumed dead or dying in a nightmarish middle of the night attack in a resort hotel.

Here she has been taken in by a frightening figure who acts like a zombie, looks like a zombie, but is somehow her protector.

He never speaks, often does not respond in any way.  He has a farm set with traps and snares to keep everything out.  She settles into a strange life with him providing for her.

Their odd existence unravels when a group of scavenging kids come to the farm.  Ella welcomes them because she is so glad of normal conversation, and kids her age.  

From the group they learn that masses of zombies are moving through the countryside heading towards London.  A massive herd of them passes through the farm, destroying everything.

Ella has a chance to go to a settlement, but chooses to stay behind with her protector.

Everything is set up for a return to London and a final battle between children and the zombies.  These are published in England a year before we get them here. Each time I finish one I say I'm going to order it from Amazon UK so I don't have to wait.  Maybe I will crack this time!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Deep Question of the Day!

Almost live, fresh from my daily horoscope is the question:

Is it easier to forgive an enemy or a friend?

My response is: An enemy. You knew they were evil and expected evil from them. Redemption is always appealing.

Friends who need forgiving have betrayed that rare thing, Trust.  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Garden This Week

Cool temperatures this week were a challenge as I brought plants in at night or stored them in my little greenhouses.  I'm seeing predictions for more cool night temps coming next week which is discouraging. I'm working on potting up my plants in any case.

This week's nursery trip was to Highland Nursery in St Paul.  I enjoy their selection of annuals.

Here's what is in bloom this week in the garden:
Epimedium Rubrum

Daffodil Perhaps Mount Hood

Iris Cristata

Dicentra Alba

Vinca in a cocoa fiber pouch (and pot). It doesn't fill the space though I imagined the fiber would puff out and expand quite a bit.

Gerbera Revolution Mix

Over the years I've collected the animal shaped pots from my annual trip to Farmington Greenhouse.  I just love them.

I'm putting as many of my potted items around the outside of the veg garden as I can this year. It is my sunniest spot, and there is always the hope that the flowers will lure bees to the garden.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Perfect Plant Perfect Pot

One of the fun parts of gardening is finding charming pots and placing just the right plant in it.

A Mother's Day gift: Ageratum Artist's Blue.  It will go on the blue milk can.

From Chenoweth Floral: Caladium Pink Splash.  It is so sweet in my tulip shaped vase and will be on the pink milk can.

Some pink begonias not labelled... For my hanging teapots. They can take sun or shade over the course of the day.  I think they will do better in these pots than the trailing flowers I tried last year.

Secretly you're dying to know how the Grand Pea Experiment is doing.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

In the Conservatory With DOA

You'll recall I planned to visit various Public Gardens over the summer this year.

The first up for many reasons was the Como Park Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.  I hadn't been there in years.  Two popular features, The Sunken Garden and the Japanese Garden weren't quite at peak (they were swapping Sunken Garden Exhibits) but it was still lovely to be in a giant greenhouse full of mostly trees and ferns, then to walk through the Japanese gardens on a wandering path.

Because it is still so early in the season, this is a perfect place to go and stroll and feel as if summer is coming.

Don't be fooled, you can't enter here. You'll need to go around to the side and enter where you can visit the Gift Shop coming and going.  They had some very sweet Fairy Garden furnishings.  Since my Fairy Garden is still a non-starter, I resisted.

It is the 100th Anniversary of the Conservatory.  We were told that the Sunken Gardens will feature flowers in the color purple all year in honor of the "royal anniversary".

The Japanese Gardens

Monday, April 27, 2015

Laundry Day in the Garden

Before I retired I made a nice list of things I'd do each day of the week, balancing work and play ever so perfectly.  If I actually have that balance I don't know it!

I have settled on Monday as Laundry Day and Tuesday as Grocery Day.  Things are lively indeed here at DOA Central.

In between loads, I brought out the herbs I purchased yesterday at Shady Acres Herb Farm, somewhere I've always meant to visit.

I put them in one of my mini-greenhouses tonight and zipped it up (not easily, those zippers don't hold out for many seasons).  In my experience the plants stay nice in there overnight and its all steamy in the morning.  Shouldn't be lower than high 40s tonight.  I'll go peek at bedtime and put them in the garage if it doesn't seem right.  Can't let anything happen to my babies.

This worm level view of some of my peas coming up was taken with the camera resting on the side of the raised bed and tilted just so.

I am getting more sprouts from the previous years seeds than from the 2015 set. 

I'm filling seed trays to get more things going.

Some nice bloodroot is blooming at the back of the yard.
Bergenia Baby Doll has defiantly set out one small flower beneath a nearby branch.

Thanks to everything greening up around the garden, things are starting to look nice.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Instant Garden Color with Rustoleum :)

I finally got my nerve up and the weather was decent enough (though a tad too windy) to paint my gray shelf and white milk cans.

I used Rustoleum Candy Pink, Apple Green, Aqua and Seaside.  There are gloss types and satin. The satin seemed a bit easier to apply evenly. 

Never having spray painted anything before, I had to get a good distance from spray can to object down right, and a smooth back and forth motion to apply the paint evenly.  This technique is still a work in progress for me.

All of the cans need touch up, particularly the pink.  It was in the 60s on Saturday but has been 40s and 50s all week so I'll have to wait for the temps to rise again.

Even with the need to go over them in spots and to do the lids, they look so beautiful.  I will definitely try spray painting some old plastic lawn chairs to make them lovelier in the landscape, once I finish these.

My husband who used to paint refrigerators (?) for a living during college was awesome. He sanded down the shelf and the milk cans for me.  It really made a huge difference. 

I washed them off with water and dried them before painting.  I love them all so much.  (And my spouse...)

Candy Pink

Apple Green

Pretty Milks Cans All In A Row