Thursday, November 29, 2007

FreeRice.Com: Rice for Words

Copyright © 2007. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Well, rice is a plant and I'm always interested in a good cause. Yesterday a friend directed me to FreeRice.Com, a site where you can play a free vocabulary game and earn free rice for hungry people all over the world. For each word you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

If you haven't visited yet, please take a look. It seems like a very cool site. So far my Vocab Level is only at 48, but I'm still working on it. Enjoy!

"To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, THIS is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright © 2007. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Giving Thanks

Copyright © 2007. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

November weather has been pleasant here in Austin. I really enjoy autumn. My parents are coming down to visit us for Thanksgiving, which should be fun. I won't be blogging for a week or so, but in the meantime here are some photos from my last visit to Natural Gardener Nursery. Enjoy!

The butterfly garden in all its glory.

By far this blue mistflower was the most popular plant with the butterflies that day. We counted at least 7 varieties of butterfly on one bush.

There greenhouse holds various tropical plants.

These red berries near the climbing vines reminded me of Christmas.

The metal chickens made me laugh.

My son prefers the real thing. He'd just given these chickens some grass which they slurped up like spaghetti.

The donkeys were waiting patiently for their supper.

While their newest garden cat was fast asleep inside the main building.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Copyright © 2007. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Veterans Day Remembrance

My mother is the person who taught me to love plants, as she learned from her mother and grandmothers. As a matter of fact, this sedum in my garden...

...comes from the original plant of my great-grandmother, Vinny. Here is a photo of her at about 12 years old...

Speaking of mothers, a reporter for the Kansas City Star interviewed my mom for this Veterans Day weekend. It's a good article, though the writer left out some interesting tidbits. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother moved to Berkley, CA during the war where my grandmother, a true Rosie the Riveter, made bomb parts and welded plane fuselages while my great-grandmother, Nell, was a dietitian for the Navy. They all moved back to Missouri after the war; just before my grandfather returned home from duty as a Marine Sergeant of the Guard on the USS Mount Vernon.

I had so many relatives serve & sacrifice during WWII that I watched the outstanding HBO series Band of Brothers with a personal interest. If you haven't caught it yet, please consider renting it.

"...From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother..."Speech by HenryV in William Shakespeare's play of the same name.

In Flander's Fields

Friday, November 2, 2007

Movies and Gardens and Pets. Oh My!

Last weekend a friend and I went to the Alamo Draft House to see the movie, Lars and the Real Girl. It was a sweet, quirky movie and of course the Alamo Draft House is always a fun, uniquely Austin place to visit. If you've never experienced ADH, please give it a try.

After the movie my friend introduced me to a great shop called Ten Thousand Villages in Austin. As we walked from our parking space on The Cir we noticed this lovely xeriscaped garden...

These look like orange cosmos to me.

This tall mystery plant was popular with the butterflies.

As was this milkweed...

Their agave looked healthy and beautiful!

At the end of the day we left for our separate homes and families. Awaiting my friend were her two Dachshunds. Both finished in a 2006 Weiner Dog Race in Buda Texas. Please note their synchronized tail-wagging...

Meanwhile my Slacker Siamese seemed to say, "Oh. Were you gone?"...

I suspect Lily has been raiding the fridge in my absence. Oh, the Humanity! ;-)

With friends, families, gardens and pets, life is good.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." ~ Marcel Proust