Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dark Clouds in Pugdeduck's World

Dark clouds are hanging over my world right now. My hubby has been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells. We are in a stage of denial right now, and hope to stay there. Treatment includes chemo and blood transfusions. Transfusions have started, and chemo will start next week. We are taking one day at a time with this. Hubby has good days and bad days, and as unfortunate as this news is, at least we finally have a diagnosis that appears accurate instead of all the previous dismissals, misdiagnosis and simplistic, superficial treatments, and we can focus on getting him the right care.

And other bit of sad news; my daughter's family dog Blue, who was deathly afraid of thunder and lightening, became terrified during a recent storm, and trying to get into the house, actually jumped from the outside through a screened window. They were not at home at the time. My grandson, home on leave from basic training, was taking care of the pets during their absence. When he investigated, he found Blue badly injured from the jump and fall and in terrible pain. Pain pills were ordered, and the dog continued to deteriorate. When my grandson took him into the vet's, he determined the pain pills had caused the dog's kidneys to shut down and that death was imminent, so he was put to sleep. My daughter and family are now on the way home from their holiday vacation, and it will be a sad time for them after losing their long-time pet.

2009 has been a year of wonderful highs--the birth of my first great grandchild--and now some very sad lows for us. I do hope 2010 will be better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Organic Orgy!

This week's find! Organic cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, spinach, onion, celery, sweet potato and celery. And, kale from my own garden.

Mmmmm..... As the temperatures go down , the family demand for my veggie soup goes up! Of course I always save enough for me!

In exchange for the soup my daughter brought over a few ripe figs! The tree is loaded but they are taking longer to ripen now that it's colder.

Runaway sweet pea! Wish the rest would catch up! They are still just kind of sitting there. Odd, indeed.

The carrots from my garden are small and pale but they taste so good! Sometimes I wonder if it's because I grew them or if they are really more favorable.

This little 2-1/2-month-old guy is growing like a weed! Good food, beautiful winter flowers, a healthy and happy great grandson, and Christmas in just eleven days--it's Heaven in Pudgeduck's World!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winter Inflorescence

I spotted this inflorescence in front of our local Subway. This is the first time I've seen a Twin Flowered Agave bloom! I'm going back in a few days to check and see what it will do next. It looks pretty cool. The shopping center's landscape crew will probably cut it off, so maybe it won't be there when I get back. They have a habit of cutting off blooms on Agaves (which are going to die anyway after blooming) so I imagine they'll cut off the bloom and then dig it out later. Since this type of Agave is solitary, it will need to be replaced.

Notice the squared off Texas Sage in the photo. I don't know why they plant bushes that will definitely be too big for the area, and then shear them like this. You never see any flowers because of the constant shearing. Then, they start getting bare and die. Such a waste.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chilly for the West Valley, Arizona

My winter garden is looking and smelling good!!! Stocks, petunia, and alyssum are filling in nicely.

The transplanted Rain Lilly likes the pot better than the spot it was in. It has more than doubled in size.

Sunny days and cold nights at the lake. I love being on the swing this time of the year even though I have a blanket just in case. Today it was about 63 degrees and a blanket was utilized!!

Last night I covered a few of my plants- it was down to 36 degrees. I will have to cover them again tonight.

The newly added area to the garden is filled with too many flowers and seeds. By February all seeds will be in bloom--if there is enough room!! I'm still picking the Dwarf Blue kale, and the carrots are so fragrant and tasty! They are still tiny but I keep checking to make sure they are growing without any interference from the bugs and grubs--so far so good!!! I planted beets in the same area and not one of those have come up.

Tomato plant is loaded with blooms and fruit. I covered it last night and hopefully they will mature!
We are already planning our Christmas activities, and this year we will do a round robin. We will start at my youngest daughter's home with appetizers and gifts--then going on to my oldest daughter's for the main course and gifts, and last, at my home for dessert and gifts. This Christmas will be extra special--my grandson will be home from boot camp! He will be here for two weeks before he will be deployed. We are all so excited to see him! I don't want to think of the days of worry that lie ahead.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Perfect ending to a perfect Thanksgiving day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Greetings


Sis and I spotted this prickly pear species at the recent community yard sale. It wasn't for sale but we asked for a cutting and paid 50 cents each. I planted it next to my Santa Rita and Teddy Bear cactus. I like the varied greens together.

My daughter's fig tree is loaded once again. She has about three a day that are ripe enough to eat. I have at least one of those a day, sometimes I'm lucky and get two!

~ In bloom ~



MMMMMMMM, my Kale is going into my weekly soup. I pick a few leaves each day! I love gardening, my flowers, and Thanksgiving ! I am thankful for
my shower of many blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Trucks, Gnomes and Rocks, All In One Post!

How much longer will this old truck last? We can't afford a payment, so we are hoping for a long, long time!

My grandson-in-law is a die-hard Bronco fan. The whole family, including the one-month old baby boy, all dress in bronco jerseys every game day. So...when he saw this NFL Bronco football/old granny garden gnome, he immediately thought of me and got me an early Christmas gift! I quickly found a perfect spot for her. She is so cute. My grand kids call me Minnie, and this little Minnie Me will be watching over my garden at night. I don't look this grannyfied but I still think of it as a Minnie Me. I keep the back gate locked so no one can come in, so I don't think she will be kidnapped. I know there are people out there that want to free the gnomes but Minnie Me will be well cared for, living among the flowers.

I painted a few rocks to fill in the empty spots in the flower garden. In just one month every empty space has been filled in and eventually all the rocks go into a bucket till next year.


I'm having Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year and we will eat at a table outside with all the flowers in bloom around us. I will pick up my fresh organic turkey the day before Thanksgiving while the house is being cleaned, and while I get my hair done! Everyone will bring a dish, so I will have plenty of time! It should be a perfect 76 degrees outside. I can't wait!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beautiful Arizona Fall

What a beautiful time of the year! I love my garden and get so excited watching everything grow. It will only get better over the next few months, unless global warming is a hoax and everything freezes!

I couldn't resist these potted poppies I spotted at Lowe's last week. Hope they last for a while. I planted them next to the Orange Jubilee.

My friend made this beautiful stepping stone for my birthday a couple years ago. It fits my new garden area perfectly.

I transplanted the nasturtiums into this new planter that I bought from QVC. In fact, I bought two sets and they are filled! They should be stunning when mature.

This is all the radishes I could save from the one seed pack that I planted. They were tasty! I want more, but each day I would find so many eaten, as shown in the next photo.


A fellow Master Gardener gave me the answer as to what could be eating the radishes! He said that cut worms come out at night to feed. So...I waited till dark, and with flashlight in hand, I found three worms. I didn't see any of them eating, though. Still hard to believe that they eat just the radishes-not the roots or leaves. So far the carrots and kale have not been touched. I think I will turn this space into more flower beds!!!!! Less stress and disappointment for sure!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Disappearing Cotton Field of Home and Other Stuff...

One of the last fields of cotton in our area is ready to be picked. Our cotton crops have dwindled in Arizona over the past few decades. We used to be known by the Three Cs--Cotton, Copper, and Citrus. Sadly, those days are gone. Of course, we still have all three, but they are no longer the major deals they used to be. Texas grows the most cotton in the USA, with China being the largest grower in the world and USA is the third. We have 18,600 cotton farms in the USA.

We drove "the back way " to Prescott yesterday. I was hoping to see some changing of the leaves, but we were a week late for the area. The wind was the true culprit, not the climate. It's not a pretty time of the year for the desert this year with so little rain. Everything looks dried up and dead. After seeing such a barrenness, I wondered why we decided to go after all. But, I needed something new to post about as my blog entries have been suffering as of late. Seems everything I post is just repeats! Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I live a boring life. Not complaining, I'm just sayin', this frivolous information is mostly to let fellow bloggers know that I am alive and well...and happy!!!

Heavenly bamboo is turning a heavenly shade of red. I have planted a few of these over the years--they only last one season in my garden. This photo was taken in the Prescott area.

My friend couldn't remember the flower name (noteworthy info--she is only 42!) Which makes me wonder, maybe my forgetfulness is not due to age after all! But then, I hear the voice of my sister saying "You just don't pay attention--face facts--you just want attention--stop whining--do crosswords--write it down--keep you mind busy--etc, etc. So, keeping my mind is another reason to keep on blogging!

I think I might know the culprit that's eating my radishes! A lizard? Hubby saw one running along the wall and it makes sense in my mind! I decided to leave them growing just to find out! (My sis told me two weeks ago it was probably a lizard and I dismissed her. Boy, I'll hear about that now!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Forget the Hummers--I'm done!

I found this cute little two pack humming bird feeders at Lowe's for $7.99. After the hummingbird feeder fiasco last year, I thought the small ones would keep away the large birds. After seeing all the hummingbirds around my yard this fall, I decided to try the new one next to my swing--hoping to get a close up photo.

It's there hanging on the left. I stay on my swing most of the winter and with this view you can see why I swing my winters away! I waited for hours--and nothing! I keep my camera on, focused, and ready to go. Nothing...but then, history repeats itself...

In just a few hours this is what I get once again! Bees and ants, and even a wasp stopped by, but I was right about the woodpecker, he never showed up! I'm through with this! No more hummingbird feeders. The hummers will have to settle for flower nectar, just as nature intended!!

I check the radishes numerous times throughout the day and I still can't see what is eating up my radish crop! Whatever it is, they work fast. I pick them at various stages and they already have signs of chewing! I even used a magnifying glass to see if any "no-see-ums" were there, but nothing. Oh well, I guess I will pull them all up and wait for the carrots and kale to mature.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Fall At Pudgeduck's World

This is a Happy Fall! Weather is perfect- plants are growing and all is well in Pudgeduck's World!

On Friday, about 18 Arizona bloggers got together for lunch. The event was hosted by
Marty, who did a great job dealing with all the details. I was surprised to find that so many lived so close . We had fun putting faces to blogs, had a great lunch, dessert and a gift exchange. I'm looking forward to the next get-together! Wouldn't you know, I forgot my camera!!

The tomato and pepper plants have quite a few blooms now. Can't wait for for the first pickings!

from Random Rants and Prickly Plants sent a very well packed rock rose plant from his garden. I soaked the hardened mud ball from the roots and planted it facing the lake hoping the water view would keep it happy! It certainly looks good!

Something is in the garden eating my radishes! They start eating them as soon as they peek through the soil!

I put my frog brigade on guard, hoping they would scare "it" away! It worked last year when they stood guard around the lone rain lilly. My sweet peas were being eaten with no-see ums again this year and I used Claude's tip with the garlic powder. It is working again !! Thanks Claude!! I'm afraid to use it on the radishes for fear that they would absorb of the taste of garlic. This is so much fun--watching all my plants growing! I'm Loving Life on the Lake.....................

I threw in few back-up miniature turtles to help guard the radishes! That will scare them for sure!!!!! (I hope.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photos Again!

I was awake this morning to capture yet another gorgeous sunrise!

I watered all my plants and thinned a few radishes, along with the carrots and kale. The bare spots will soon fill in.

The runner beans are growing fast! The plant in the forefront is a pineapple salvia. So far everything is doing very well.

Coots have come home to roost!! The winter rye was planted earlier this year--bfore the coots got here to eat the seeds, so now they are just leaving green droppings all over the lake sidewalks. They are nasty birds!

The Texas Sage in bloom around the neighborhood. It's to bad they don't stay in bloom--they are beautiful and bloom in reaction to the humidity or rain.

Finally...... a cactus that bloomed! This Submatucana madisoniorum and it's from Peru . I'm not sure if I will get any more--this is the first time it has bloomed. I bought this one last year.

The stalk is about 6 inches tall and the cactus is the size of a small peach. The wind started yesterday afternoon and will blow in some cool 65 degree weather for today. I would like to turn off the air. Last winter I never turned on the heat. We had a very warm winter. I only burned three logs and that's a good thing because the Java Logs cost 6.99 each!They are all natural made from coffee. They have a pleasant order without the stinky petroleum smell.

I fixed my card reader dilemma for only $9.00. Just plug and play with a USB card reader/writer. How cool is that? I figured it would be some kind of big box that had to be hooked up in back of the computer, but it's so simple I'm still in awe.