Each morning when I sit down with my coffee to write my post I usually have Ivy laying on the small side table where I keep my laptop, pawing at me to pet her. If I don’t pet her fast enough, she uses her head to poke at my arms.

Meanwhile I have Charlie laying next to my feet popping up to go out every little bit due to his morning diuretic pill I’ve given him for his heart.

Mornings are a bit busy around here.

Right now Ivy is on the craft cabinet looking for the shadow that she knows will eventually appear on the front door. There’s nothing she can do to a shadow, but she will watch it, still as a stone, anyway.

Right now I have very few blooms on the patio. I looked out yesterday afternoon and all my pretty golden yellow zinnias had either fallen over or dried up. I had been out earlier and knew some of the blooms were turning brown. But I didn’t expect this rapid change.

Reluctantly I took my snippers and cut them way back. They were getting too tall and spindly anyway, but I sure enjoyed those blooms. If they don’t come back in a short time, I will move some of the seedlings into those two pots.

I plan to never be short of zinnias again. Normally they are, from what I read, pretty sturdy and reliable flowers. But this has been a most unusual summer. It rained like there was no tomorrow for weeks, then got hot overnight and has not let up.

The cone flowers were completely gone so I snipped the brownest ones and put those seed heads, along with some of the brownest zinnias, into separate bowls to make sure they are dried out before I label and store them.

Ivy looking bug-eyed for some reason

So there are a few petunias blooming (very few) and now the herbs are starting to set up blooms. When I snipped some chives to put into my egg salad for lunch yesterday, I noticed that some already had the purple flowers chives are known for.

The herbs like lemon balm that I haven’t cut back have set up little white blooms and the salvia and basil are also blooming.

So what is left of the flowers is morning glories and scabiosa.

I can’t recall a time when I’ve had such a dearth of blooms in July. But I don’t think I’ve experienced such a strange spring and early summer before either.

The force of nature is in charge. We as gardeners are merely the stewards who plant our seeds and then hope for the best weather to nurture them.

Something is eating the top leaves of my Japanese Maple. Has anyone had this happen before?

I just got up to feed Charlie his daily boiled egg, which I cut up into pieces for him to be able to eat. And I gave Ivy her teaspoon of canned food back in the bedroom.

I had forgotten to give Charlie his powdered medication to strengthen his heart with his earlier doses of medicine this morning, so I sprinkled it on his egg. Then watched to make sure he ate it all before Ivy appeared on the scene.

Ivy likes his egg almost as much as he does. She also likes his dog food. Toothless Charlie can’t eat all that fast. Ivy will plant her big self in front of his plate and start wolfing his food down. So I stand and police their eating.

The other alternative is to pick Ivy up. But that is quite a chore. First, Ivy is heavy. Second, she doesn’t like to be picked up. She is certainly not a lap cat.

When you pick her up she goes limp. It’s like picking up a 5 pound sack of potatoes with 1 pound of potatoes in it.

Last night I was able to have one of my tomatoes on my veggie burger. I sliced up one of the sweet peppers I brought in with it and added it to the hamburger bun.

I don’t want to waste the peppers and I’ve now kind of gotten accustomed to eating a veggie burger with sweet peppers.

A meal seems to taste so much better when you have grown what you’re eating. Have you ever noticed that?

The tomato was pretty tasteless, but the sweet pepper made up for it. You can be sure that next year I will be planting a different kind of tomato plant. And hope that weeks of rain don’t mess things up while they mature.

I am getting a rash of phone calls from organizations wanting donations this past week or so. I don’t answer them. If I did I’d be on the phone half the day. Is this the time of year when organizations do their fund raising?

I’ve also noticed that marketers now use your area code to try to get you to answer the phone. Before it always showed another area code. Oh, they’re getting sneaky.

I get so tired of these spiels about lowering my interest rates and such and such. I just paid off my furniture, so I don’t have any outstanding credit card debt and didn’t have to pay a penny in interest.

Then there are the calls that try to scare you to death about owing taxes. I hate these people who try to profit off fear. They are just trying to take advantage of older folks who they think they can intimidate.

As my accountant has told me many times, the IRS will never call you. They will write you a letter. So I let them leave a message and then delete it.

They’re worse than vultures circling carrion in the road. At least vultures are doing what they’re born to do. The human vultures are just heartless crooks.

I don’t answer my phone unless I know for sure who’s calling.

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19 Comments

  1. I’ve never had anything eat my Japanese maple, but around this time of year the leaves start going brown around the edges. I assume it’s from the horrible heat. No matter how much I water, the brown still comes. I sure wish it wouldn’t.

  2. I get a lot o- “junk” calls, too. I’m glad to know about (star)77. I’ve had two or three scam calls–one saying it was Publishers Clearing House saying I’d won a large amount o- money. I learned that they will never call you either a-ter calling their scam line. It certainly is one o- the most annoying things I have to deal with. When I do happen to answer one o- those calls, when I hear a -oreign accent I immediately hand up -or sure. A lot o- them are based in -oreign countries–o-ten India.

    I am wishing you cooler weather and a new crop o- beauti-ul zinnias!

  3. Its been very hot in NC but we got a good break from the heat and humdity this week…but not a moment too soon..some of my plants are also in distress and trying to recover. I remember the first time I got a message about IRS ..was scary. Of course I learned scam..scam..scam. So sad some folks are taken. Have a friend who we feel has some dimentia..lives with her husband and we tell her not to talk to them; however, her husband said she will sit and talk to them. Whew…. a lot of evil in this world..but thank goodness..also a lot of good. Love your quilt on the chair. Thanks for sharing..love your adventures there with your pet babies.

  4. I got this email recently that told me I have a shipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, I just have to give them all my personal information in order to get it. I didn’t believe a word of it. I have been getting those phone calls also that tell me the IRS is out to get me. A friend told me that someone she knew fell for it and got scammed out of thousands of dollars. Also the ones that tell you they will repair your Microsoft computer. These people are really busy, aren’t they????

  5. We get so many false calls. Some even threaten that the police will come to your home. These people need to be punished whee their scare tactics and scams.
    Marilyn

  6. I don’t have a landline and I get very few junk calls on my cell phone. I only answer when I know who it is. I think my vegetables are over so I am thinking about replanting. I didn’t get one tomato because of people and squirrel thieves. I won’t plant those again. xo Laura

  7. Hi Brenda.
    Did you check your maple tree for fungus? We had a fungus eating away at the leaves and tips of branches on a young tree we have. Turned out to be humidity fungus common to maple varieties and was related to heavy moisture for an extended amount of time. I sniped away affected parts and the tree is doing well again.

  8. Ivy’s face is marked just perfect. She is so cute. My cat likes to “get” shadows, too. Such fun!

  9. Thanks Brenda. Am going out to buy some veggie burgers.
    A friend of mine was taken in by a call from the “IRS”.
    The guy was very loud and insistent. Really scared her and had her go to CVS and get a card and put $1000 on it. She sent it and then regretted it immediately . She is smart and told him she thought it was a scam when he first called but he had an answer for everything. They are good at it and can feel people out and prey on their insecurities. Best not to answer and give them no chance to bamboozle. Disgusting and criminal.

  10. Could you have planted too early this year? Here in Texas been cooler than usual. We may hit one hundred next week. In most years those high temperature days are over by mid August.

  11. I don’t know if this will work for you, but on my AT&T land line I hit *77 after getting a dial tone and then hung up. That eliminates many of the junk calls, but not all of them. To turn off the feature, you do *87 and hang up. It’s ridiculous that “charities” and political junk calls are exempt from ANY kind of regulations other than calling between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Thirteen hours of endless telephone ringing. I didn’t know how bad it was until I retired and was home. I turned the ringers down to the lowest setting on my two land line phones and my friends and family have a “code” when they call – the phone rings a certain number of times and then they hang up and call right back; I will pick up the call then. I check my voice mail but not always daily, so I tell people if it’s that important, email me because I nearly always have my computer on and will check my email several times a day. If I’m home and alive, I’ll respond.

  12. Hi Brenda, Love your pet pics especially Ivy and her crazy cat eyes! I think they can only go so long before the urge to hunt something comes over them then they either find something or imagine it! I’m interested in what kind of veggie burgers you buy. I have not been able to find any I really like. Might try making my own but would rather buy already made! Have a nice weekend with Charlie and Miss Ivy.

    1. I like Morning Star regular style, not black bean or other concoction. In fact it’s the only ones I buy. I love the taste. They are frozen, so always handy. And if you keep buns frozen, you always have a meal. I usually make baked beans and have chips.

  13. Good morning Brenda, I could not agree with you more abut growing your own food and the heartless people who pray on others. I just came home from the farmers market with a few beautiful tomatoes and cannot wait to eat a tomato sandwich for lunch!

    I hope that you and Ivy and Charlie have a great day!

  14. Ivy is “looking bug-eyed” because she sees something that the human eye cannot. This is a trait unique to cats. Sometimes it can freak you out if their focus is a spot on the ceiling and it lasts for 5 long minutes. Now that is a creepy feeling! (Happened to me!)
    We get those crazy calls, too – everyone does. I have heard that if you answer them you are placed in a “live” folder and the calls just keep coming. Thank goodness for caller ID – we never answer. And yes, it’s heart wrenching how many people have been scammed by them.

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