A View From the Kitchen Window

After the news I got today that my former employer-mentor died I have to do something positive. On Wednesday this week, I presented our garden club with a movie titled Floral Wonders. The film is really a slide show of member’s flower gardens. This morning I decided to break out my segment of the original. I call it “2012 Monet Vision, A View From the Kitchen Window.” I moved a lot of stuff around and added a few more photos from my garden then added  new music.  It took me most of the day with all the interruptions I had. While the movie processed, I went out for my walk as a reward. When I returned the first thing I did was upload the file to YouTube. I wanted to share the film on grumpajoesplace. Unfortunately, YouTube took a long time to process the upload. That is when I switched to my e-mails and the day blew up.

Right now I’m working off a wine buzz after making a fantastic dish of wheat penne pasta with caramelized onions and sautéed broccoli smothered in sour cream and topped with a Tilapia fillet.

This year’s Monet Vision promised to be outstanding after that mild winter, but the über hot June and July did everything it could to roast the plants in place. In fact, I wound up replacing many  annuals with new ones, and my Lady’s Mantle perennials died of thirst. I hope you enjoy this video.

***********************************************************

The video I mentioned in the last line, well, where is it? I wanted to post this story yesterday, but another IED went off and changed my day. It seems that we can ignore any law we want in the DSA (Divided States of America) except copyright laws. Google threatened to ban me from using their site if I persist in using copyrighted music in my videos. I featured music played by my friend Roger from Starperry Studios in Mulberry Florida with his permission. That is not good enough. The copyrights belong to dead people who actually wrote the tunes not the musicians that play it. They actually belong to companies that purchased the copyrights from the dead people’s heirs. I won’t elaborate on all the laws our government is ignoring in this piece but they are many.

I searched the net for royalty free music to download and redid the movie. I don’t like the tunes, but they are okay.  I crashed and burned before I could get it all completed for my self-imposed deadline.

One more time, please enjoy  “2012 Monet Vision, A View From the Kitchen Window.”

A Billion Seconds Ago it Was 1959

Title: "No, No! Not That Way" Locati...

Title: "No, No! Not That Way" Location: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the Word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about whether you want the ‘politicians’ spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, But one advertising agency did a good job of Putting that figure into some perspective in One of its releases.

A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it. While this thought is still fresh in our brain… let’s take a look at New Orleans …. It’s amazing what you can learn with some simple division. Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D) was asking Congress for 250 BILLION DOLLARS To rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number… What does it mean?

A. Well .. If you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman and child) You each get$516,528

B. Or… If you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

C. Or… If you are a family of four… Your family gets$2,066,012. Washington ,

D.C HELLO! Are all your calculators broken??

Building Permit Tax

CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax

Corporate Income Tax

Dog License Tax

Federal Income Tax (Fed)

Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)

Fishing License Tax

Food License Tax

Fuel Permit Tax

Gasoline Tax

Hunting License Tax

Inheritance Tax

Inventory Tax

IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)

IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

Liquor Tax

Luxury Tax

Marriage License Tax

Medicare Tax

Property Tax

Real Estate Tax

Service charge Taxes

Social Security Tax

Road Usage Tax (Truckers)

Sales Taxes

Recreational Vehicle Tax

School Tax

State Income Tax

State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)

Telephone Federal Excise Tax

Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax

Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax

Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax

Telephone Recurring and Non-recurringCharges Tax

Telephone State and Local Tax

Telephone Usage ChargeTax Utility Tax

Vehicle License Registration Tax

Vehicle Sales Tax

Watercraft Registration Tax

Well Permit Tax

Workers Compensation Tax

And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes.

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago… And our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt… We had the largest middle class in the world…

And Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened?

Can you spell ‘politicians’!

And I still have to Press ‘1’ For English.

I hope this goes around the USA At least 100 times

What the heck happened?????

TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY

Thank you Sharon.

CINO, Conservative In Name Only

Today, I began my war against the terror organization known as Bull Thistle. As I patiently applied toxins to foliage with a brush to keep overspray from killing innocent victims, it finally occurred to me, gardens are naturally conservative. The natural law rules and plants are genetically programmed to win any affront to upset the balance. On the flip side, gardeners are the far left liberals. We constantly try to force our will upon Nature and its horticultural specimens to form a more perfect society. Gardeners are racist too. We chose to believe that some specimens are more desirable than others, and therefore, the undesirables are definitely open to annihilation.

When will we liberal gardeners learn that the order of Nature will persevere?  When will gardeners stop the foolishness of imposing their idea of what is beautiful and morally correct upon nature? Anyone who gardens knows that a beautiful society of plantdom has to be carefully controlled. Unwanted specimens are culled to keep the vision beautiful. If the maintenance slows or if it stops, the vision automatically reverts to the natural order of things. In some cases it reverts to something that is less than natural, because the gardener brought in specimens from outside his zone of influence to fill the lack of diversity. Many times the imports are without predators and thrive within the vision to overtake the locals.

So here I am, a boneheaded Conservative trying to impose my will upon the 2012 Monet Vision, in order to create a Utopian society of horticultural matter in an environment that repels my efforts to create heaven on earth.

“It’s a losin’ fight.” —–WIlliam Bendix as Riley in “The Life of Riley.”

The Life of Riley

The Life of Riley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Burning Gas–Driving Through a Cloud

About a year before Peggy and I took this trip to the Northwest, our friends Bill and Lois toured the area by train. Bill couldn’t say enough for the scenery along the route between Banff and VanCouver. Peggy and I did it by car, and I can attest to the beauty of this section of mountains. One of my grandest memories is coming down the QEW-1 into a valley covered by a layer of clouds. Everything went foggy for a few minutes then we broke through the cloud layer and the grandest little town appeared before us. On the way out of town we went into the clouds again to break out into the blue sky at the top of the mountain.

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Among the many reasons for this trip was to see this section of Canada, and to show Peggy a real garden.

We arrived in Vancouver during  evening hours, and settled into a hotel near the ferry landing. The following morning we boarded the ferry for the hour ride to Vancouver Island. We checked into the Fairmont hotel and did a walking tour of the historic district. The day was sunny, and mild. We enjoyed the shops and the food.

The Monet Vision is Forming In My Mind

Boy do I regret not going to Arizona this winter. I forgot how dreary winter gets. Even though the days are getting longer and the sun shines bright on some days, the chill gets into my bones. It is funny how one can get acclimated to warmth so quickly. I have only spent three complete winters in the desert, but those three winters have won out over the sixty-nine winters spent in the cold. How could that be? If our bodies acclimate so readily to heat why has so much of civilization settled in the northern cold climates? I certainly can’t understand Eskimos at all. I also have a problem understanding Mexicans who sneak into the cold.  A hungry stomach must win out over a cold body.

Our days are getting noticeably warmer. We often see highs in the forty’s now, but the wind makes it feel a lot colder. Yesterday, I toured my yard io review the ravages of winter, and what has to be done to clean it up. Aside from cutting the many annual flowers I left up for the birds and for winter interest, I have a leak in my pond. That one worries me. It could be simple, or it could mean digging up pipes, or it could mean searching endlessly for a cut or pinhole. I don’t look forward to that. It might take Grey Goose and tonic to put me in the right frame of mind to “gett’r done.” Or, it could mean spending a ton of money to watch it get done. Right now, I have more time than money, but  I am short on energy and motivation. Perhaps the warmth of summer will provide the motivation. In the meantime, I look forward to the signs of spring. They are evident and causing the gardening juices to flow. Literally, the juices are flowing into the trees, and the shrubs, and Mother Nature is waking her babies. It is almost time to propagate and multiply.

Here are some of the things I see in late winter:

Nothing beats a late Winter sunset, welll maybe a Summer sunset, or maybe any sunset.

Magnolia Buds Coming Alive

Tired Rose Hips

Winter Lilac Prunings

Daffodils Coming Alive

 

The Water level Drops Four Inches in 72 Hours

Dried Annual Stems Ready to Cut

Barb’s Last Garden Angel Hidden Behind Spent Shasta Daisies

 

More Perennial Debris to Cut

 

Morning Glory Trellis Blown Down in the Blizzard

Magnificent March Sunset

I’m tired just looking at it all, but the Monet Vision is forming in my mind and I can SEE Summer now!

The Wabbit War Begins

Image courtesy of Warner Bros, free use agreement.

When I was a kid, Elmer Fudd was a popular cartoon character. I had to go to the movies to see him star in a cartoon. That was before television was invented. Elmer spoke with an impediment and pronounced “r’s and l’s” as “w.” Today his speech would be offensive to many liberal senses. The libs would protest that the character was demeaning speech impediments. To me it was funny, and is still funny. If you are offended by written words about lispy speech, stop right here and go to the ACLU website and register a complaint.

Elmer loved hunting and was always in pursuit of a rabbit named Bugs Bunny. He pronounced rabbit as wabbit, and his favorite saying was “siwwy wabbit.” Each cartoon episode involved Elmer in some hilarious attempt to catch the wabbit who stole his carrots. I love Elmer Fudd.

I tell this story because I too am in pursuit of wabbits or illegal aliens as one of my gardening friends refers to them. For some reason, this season the wabbit count is high, and they are voraciously hungry. I have a collection of Asiatic lilies, which I am very proud of, but this year they have been decimated by the wabbits. At first, I thought it was a bug, but one day, I witnessed a long earred furry thing chomping on the tender leaves of a lily plant. By the time I reacted, and placed a wabbit barrier around the stubs, it was too late; the liwys were eaten to the ground

A year ago, I wrote a story titled “Dumb Ass Squirrel #!!&+*^(#?” It described my battle with a squirrel and my bird feeders. Later in the summer, I wrote a trilogy of pieces about another garden creature titled; Mystery-Riddle,  Dumb Ass Squirrel Has Competition,  and Answer to Riddle.

Eventually, I gave up and conceded to the ingenuity of the squirrels. The wabbit is another matter. The squirrels are entertaining; the wabbits are destwuctive. There is no pwant matter thing they wiww not taste. In the pwocess, they destwoy bwooms. One of the fiwst fwowers of spwing is the tuwip. The wabbits wait untiw the bud is high and about to bwoom, then they chomp the stem. The bud ways on the gwound with an uneaten stem stiww attached.  (If you think it is easy to write with a lisp, think again. I want you to get as frustrated reading this as I am chasing the wabbit.)

My war with the wabbits is compounded by, my sweet wife, Peggy. She has a motherly fondness for all living creatures and goes out of her way to feed birds, squirrels, and now wabbits too. Her attitude is that the animal kingdom leads a hard life and they deserve a little tender loving care. (But not my prize lilies dam it.) Peggy will dump a cup full of birdseed on the patio for the ducks, and the wabbits. On the way to the seed pile, the wabbits pass through my flowerbeds and partake of appetizers. A bite here, a nibble there, aren’t they cute?

For the last week, instead of drawing Obama bashing cartoons, and blogging, Grumpa Joe has been busy installing wabbit barriers at considerable expense. Every day he discovers that the wabbit has figured a new route into the flowers. So far, He has discovered a huge chunk missing from his favorite cactus, a denuded potted geranium, coral bell stems, and leaves lying on the ground. All the buds from a bellflower are gone, chrysanthemum buds gone (that one is a favor to me), bell pepper, hosta, and sedum leaves eaten to the stem. What do they leave alone? Wabbits avoid dandelions, clover, thistle, Queen Anne’s lace, and so far, day lilies.

 The war continues.

Guard-Heron

I finally caught him with my camera. Every morning for the last week, I spotted him patiently waiting at the edge of the pond. He hopes to find a fish. I now call him my Guard-Heron because the pond is frozen over and his only function is to see to it that no one else gets into his territory.

Getting his photo was no easy matter. Once I determined where and when to look, I used stealth to sneak up on him. He will scoot at the slightest motion, or noise.  I crawled on the floor under the window line then slowly raised the camera above the window sill. A squeeze of the trigger and I had him. I took a second photo after confirming the first. He was gone. How much longer will he guard my pond? The temperature continues to drop, and more snow is on the way. The fish and other aquatics that make up his diet are safely hidden under the ice. 

Here are the questions:

Will the Dumb-Ass Heron take the Dumb-Ass Squirrel

Will the Dumb-Ass Heron finally move south?

Will the Dumb-Ass Heron become an ice sculpture at the edge of my pond?

Vote for one.

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