Tuesday Tidbits & winners!

So!  Whatch’alldoin’?   Is it hot/cool/cold/rainy where you are?  I’m in all FOUR of those right now.  Saturday was weird – I left the house around 10a, it was blazing sun/82degrees, and I was beginning to regret the cute AF little blouse I was wearing, wishing I’d put on a tank top instead.  As I headed south I could see some clouds forming over Peoria – okay, clouds.  Good.  Cool down that sunshine just a bit.  But not Serious clouds (heh), y’know.  Just those ‘cool the sun the hell down’ kinda clouds. Maybe – just maybe – a spit/sprinkle.  Maybe.   Ran some errands, ended up at the new library (which has a steel roof).  I was in the stacks when, suddenly, I thought ‘eh…did the exhaust system just lose a belt or something?’  A constant rat-tat-tat-tat had everyone looking around, only to find out it was a deluge.  On that steel roof.  3″ in about 46minutes.   A friend used to tell me about watching storms roll in from over the mountains in New Mexico; it’s much like that here, minus the mountains.  Driving back through the fields you can see forever and it’s fascinating to watch thunderstorms (or, in one instance, what looked to be a tornado) in the distance.  And it was roiling, in the distance, as I headed north for home.   Came back to find we’d had almost as much rain here as in Peoria – great for pulling up 3 wheelbarrows’ worth of weeds – including Borage.  Lots and lots of borage.  It is a gorgeous plant but it’s thuggish and omg.  Reseeding?  Like somebody is paying it by the hairy little plant!  I remember the first borage plant I put in.  I worried over that little thing.  Ha.  And?  Every year I forget how indestructible it is – and every year I get at least 40 of the hairy little buggers.  One of the only upsides to pulling borage plants is the smell.  It has a clear, clean cucumber smell and, indeed, the flowers are often used in ice cubes both for their loveliness as well as the cucumber flavor!  March and I were having a conversation (we have a LOT of those) awhile back about how, one minute you will be awash in ‘x’ note in perfumery (bath/body/home) and the next?  Poof!  Gawn.  Cucumber is one such note – it was everywhere and in everything in the early 2000s  and I think I wrote about this maybe a year ago?  We went to this fab International grocery-cum-beauty shop in Bethesda (much like Merz), on the hunt for CUCUMBER.  But could only find cucumber-melon which, to March, is like finding frog legs in those ice cubes.  Not One Thing could we find that was straight-up cuke.  But maybe we can approximate it with borage!  hmmm… ShiKai has a ShiTon (heh.  oh, c’mon!) of borage lotions but they all say unscented.  Where’s the fun in that?

I’m going to be smelling like dirt and more dirt for the next few days –  next week a gardening friend is coming down from Chicago to see my garden.  My bfffe said ‘oh, we don’t care (about the state of the gardens) – we’re coming to see you‘.  Me: ‘uh.  no.  YOU are coming to see me.  and yes, you don’t care.  However, Sue, who is a Master Gardener (and a very tiiiidy gardener at that) is coming specifically to See My Garden’ .  So you know I am on the HOP to get this thing cleaned up – hence the ripping up of the borage and the bindweed, laying down fresh mulch and all the other things one needs to do before you can say the garden version of  ‘oh, that old thing?’ tra-la-la!  When people come 2.5 hours to see your garden they’d better have something decent to look at.  I have 2 kitchen gardens, 4 borders and a whole lot of lawn to cut.  Plus I have to get out mah cute little vintage tablecloths and really pretty teacups (I want the tea set from Father Brown); mostly I think I’ll channel my inner Richardson Wright (paraphrasing here:)”when in doubt (and when you don’t have a lot of time), take a spade and edge the beds”.  Even ‘wild’ garden designs have some element of control that keeps the wild element looking designed rather than a big ol’ hot mess.  And nothing about my garden is ‘wild’.  So.  Edging the hell out of those beds.  Then I’ll break out the linens and stuff.  Squee!

father brown tea

Sick pup.  BIG sick pup.  Luckily the garden is fenced and I can leave the back door open.  Luckily.  She. Is. Big.  Which means Everything Her is BIG.   I think it’s probably garden-variety (as in ‘Mom!  I ate a whole LOT of dirt’) illin’ – I know she didn’t get any rabbits because she cannot be bothered to stir her 130-lb stumps to chase them.  But she has been grazing all over the place. It’s that scary version of OMG.  You aren’t eating.  Here.  I’ll make an egg for you.  Then …she won’t eat the egg!  It took me 5 whole minutes to get that egg down her.  FIVE MINUTES!  In normal times, it’s not even 1/5th of a second!   Just about panic time I remember that all dogs have ickytummy now and again and it’s unlikely she is truly ill.  I’ve got some beef liver in the freezer with her name on it.  I’ll see how she is tomorrow, then boil that up.  Honestly.   If it’s not one thing, it’s another.  She’s on Immodium and horse electrolytes and my nerves are shot.  I think they do this on purpose.

I’m siiiick 🙁


That’s my life for the Right Now.  I stay awash in 1932 and Acqua di Parma Magnolia body cream (not together – that’s hazmat waiting to happen).  I smell good.  When I layer it with 4 hrs of garden dirt, I smell glorious!


Whazzup with you?  Tell me some stories.  I’ll have the Sick Pup poke random.org and we’ll choose a winner or two.


Oh!  speaking of winners:  Nicevulady & mmkinpa!  C’mon down to the gmail that is  evilauntieanita !


  • Rosemary says:

    [no drawing entry, just some comments]
    1) Wow, at >100lbs, your baby makes my 80lb Belle look small! Hope your doggie feels better!
    2) Good luck with gardening, I’m sure it’ll be fab, and that’s cool about the cucumber smell of the borage!
    3) It’s funny you mention a “proper tea” with linens and teacups: a week ago I decided to try Oolong tea, as I’ve read good health benefits; I’ve gone through phases of trying to drink tea, but never got into it (I’m a coffee girl). But I’m really enjoying my afternoon (sometimes as late as 5:30pm) tea, and a few days ago decided “Why not use my fine china teacups and saucers which I’ve never used?” And it’s raised the ritual up a notch, feels like a luxury, I’m loving it! In fact, I spent an hour or so on Sunday perusing teapots on websites: the one that matches my china is too pricey for a “whim”, so I was looking for something that’ll look cute with what I have. For now teabags in my pretty cup/saucer will do 😉
    4) I’ve been a perfume slut lately, giving my wrists to a different scent (some old, some new) every day; been trying my Musette-sent sample scents (thanks again…and you don’t need to enter me for this draw, since I’m good for now!), and enjoying much, but ONE totally floored me unexpectedly: Arquiste Anima Dulcis! The listed notes are: Cocoa Absolute, Mexican Vanilla, Cinnamon, Chili infusion… but I’m guessing there’s something more to it, because when I put it on I said “OMG, it’s chocolate skank!” And it made me laugh! And it made me keep smelling my wrist…I can’t deal with super-heavy skank (Papillon Salome comes to mind), but apparently a hint of skank makes me swoon! I may have to get another sample to see if I have the same reaction again, as I really enjoyed it!

  • Nemo says:

    Poor puppy, I hope her appetite is back soon!!

  • Pam says:

    Doggies! I HATE it when they’re sick! I have cooked special meals so many times. I hope your little guy is better by the time you read this.

  • Lynne says:

    I hope your poor puppy is better soon. I always fed my sweet Sasha cooked ground beef in white rice when her tummy was bad. Seemed to help better than anything else. I’m afloat here in southern Florida. The summer rains have started and it’s been raining non-stop for three days now. I’m disabled, so I have my cozy little office set up on the couch near the living room slider windows. The thunder is shaking the house and the sky is dark and the lighting is incredible. I love watching the bolts slash through the sky… sometimes they even travel sideways. I’m not kidding. Florida has the most incredible lighting. In fact it is called the “Lighting Capitol of the World”. I always feel energized watching all the action during the storms. Must be all the negative ions being released. I’m not sure what perfume I would use to celebrate the storms-maybe a scent that is very unique and not to be ignored.

  • Tiara says:

    Blue skies, 73 degrees, no humidity, light breeze. Pure heaven today in SW Ohio! Won’t stay this way for long so enjoying while I can. So wish I had a kitchen garden but we live in a Tree City area so lots of big old shade trees around here. Hope the dog feels better soon, poor thing.

  • Stephanie says:

    When I moved to Los Angeles from Indiana three years ago, I didn’t think I would miss much about the Midwest, but I do miss the temperamental weather and the insanely green foliage. Those insane rain storms that drop inches in the span of an hour or two were inconvenient but also oddly soothing. I also miss having a yard and a garden!

    Here in LA it’s June Gloom season, and I love it. Grey and windy in the mornings, sunshine starting around 2 pm, back to chilly overcast weather by around 9 or 10 pm. A lot of locals seem to dislike this time of year, but I think this and the cold “winter” months are my favorite.

    Sorry to hear about your pup! I hope the stomach issues go away quickly!

    • Stephanie says:

      Oh–it’s not a pure cucumber scent, but I recently got a sample of Shay & Blue Almond Cucumber, and I really enjoy it! It’s different than the loud/spicy orientals that I favor, but really lovely. You might want to check that one out if you’re looking for cucumber.

  • Maggiecat says:

    It is hot and muggy here in just-north-of-Dallas, not that I’m out in it much. Me, I’m stuck between the couch and bed as I continue the looonnng recovery from ankle fusion surgery (8 weeks no weight bearing!) I have a knee scooter to get around the house, and the kitty and puppy gave gotten pretty good at staying out of my way. JFK Aqua Vitae and Jo Malone Star Magnolia are a comfort as well
    Hope your pup is better today. My cat was barfy a while back, but it turned out to be because she was eating my Mother s Day flowers, so…

  • HeidiC says:

    Oh, poor pup. Hope his tummy trouble is resolved soon. And BORAGE — I love borage! I didn’t know it turned so thuggish, but wow, I love those blue flowers and that cucumber smell!

    It’s been crazy hot here in Minneapolis, and we’re getting ready to go to Raleigh, where it’s just as hot but also HUMID to help my parents pack their house. Everything keeps conspiring to keep me from putting in the herb garden I’m planning. Boooo!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Sorry that your puppy is sick. Tomorrow one of my dogs is going to the vet. We think that she might have a bad tooth. Too bad my vet didn’t stay with his old practice that was a walk in clinic. Now everything at his new one is by appointment only. It’s been wet here in Cleveland and kind of chilly for June.

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    P.S., Musette, sorry your lovely doggie is sick! I hope she feels better soon. When my cat won’t eat, it is because he has a stomach full of bunny fur, and g-d knows what else.

    I once saw a sign (and wish I had bought it) that said: “Enjoy the garden, it was at its peak YESTERDAY. Sorry you missed it.” 😀

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    Nothin’ but rain and cold here. I don’t even want to put tomatoes in the ground. It was 49F here this morning at 8am! I remember having borage–lovely plant. Somehow mine vanished, probably overgrown by all the grass that has invaded my street-side flower beds. 🙁

    The Lily of the Valley was my comfort and joy this Spring but now they are past. My big cat Frankie, the bunny-killer keeps busy but even he is pouting this morning because of the weather. I have tall, blue, bell-flowered plants that threaten to take over everything in its path. Bluebells of Doom.

    Wearing Sotto la Luna Tuberose at work out of sheer perversity.

  • rosarita313 says:

    The up and down weather here shortened the spring blooming things – I missed the lily of the valley at my mom’s completely while the iris busted out of the ground. We went up to Sleeping Bear Dunes last weekend and drove right back into spring, it was so cool; everything was in bloom and the lilacs are trees, not bushes up there. And it’s only a 4 hour drive! Hope the girl is better soon, enjoy your linens and teacups 🙂

  • Tara C says:

    We are soaked up here in Quebec, it has done nothing but rain all spring and temps are below normal. Lots of mosquitoes and ticks too. Seems like summer will never come! Get well wishes for your pup.

  • Laurels says:

    I’ll bet I could kill off your borage. Probably just by looking at it. The hot/cold/hot/cold of the past few months didn’t stop the jasmine from blooming here, but it seems to have shortened its bloom, and we hardly got any lemons. I hope your pup feels better soon.

  • Sarah says:

    Here in NJ it has been wet a lot. My backyard is a haven for deer, chipmunks, pretty birds and a bumper crop of ticks. Lymelush, Maison de Lyme, LutentootenLymesville. I am calling on God to smite every tick on the planet.
    In other news your garden looks a perfect place to have tea and scones. And the dog the best garden ornament ever.

  • Koyel says:

    Poor sick puppy 🙁 I hope she gets better soon. My cancer kitten is losing weight. We are hoping he’s just getting fussy about food and not that he’s getting seriously ill again.

  • verbenaluvvr says:

    It has not rained appreciatively where I live so far this year. Our lawn is scorched brown and the lilacs barely bloomed. Only the flowerbeds and small garden that I water look decent. And no rain in the forecast, either.