Saturday, April 20, 2013


Today's blog is a forerunner of my afternoon project; my intentions then are to open the refrigerator door and divest it of about half of the contents.  Well, not throw them all away, but do SOMETHING with them to make more room. 
Likewise, today's column will be patterned after that.  I need to move some pictures out of my computer to make it easier to find what I want.  So here goes:

I may have mentioned before that in this particular senior complex, which unfortunately goes through a new iteration every time there is a new property manager in place, now has decided to tout our apartment units as having "one bedroom and a private patio" or "two bedrooms and a private patio."  However, the "patios" are actually our front porches, and they are miniscule....well, not too bad for a front porch but laughable as a patio.  Especially since if you want satellite TV, you can ONLY place the satellite dish on your "private patio" -- not on the eaves or the roof or the lawn.  That space belongs to the owner.  Your private patio belongs to you.  (Interestingly enough, management is the judge of what is and what isn't appropriate to put on your "private patio."  But that's another story.)

The dish itself isn't too unruly, but it has a huge metal frame that it sits on - by measurement 3 feet square.   The size is, I think, supposed to keep it from being knocked around and losing the signal.  However, the strong winds we get in this area are able to move it easily, so apartment owners must weigh it down with either cinderblocks or cement tiles.  We opted for the heavy flat tiles.  I knew it would be ugly, but I told Jer I could live with it.  Better to have an ugly dish than to sign up for the cableTV that is offered us at $200 a month.

However, the ugliness finally got to me.  I told Jer we had to do something.  So this is our start.

We are in the process of turning our private patio into a private garden.  The turf is fake, but the plants are real.  Interestingly, the little white pillar in the center is a souvenir from Istanbul that we brought with us when we moved back to the States in 1993.  It is marble and was cut for use on tombstones.  We needed some heavy doorstops there and this is what our very helpful driver and good friend Ahmet Bey found for us.  We use one inside our apartment for a doorstop and the other one sat on the porch, totally useless, until the dish and frame arrived.  It now is useful! 

This little cactus garden is the latest addition, and it will sit in the empty space above.  I am, in my old age, working up an affinity for cactus.  Yesterday before we stopped at the nursery we were in a drugstore and I saw some cute miniature cacti, shaped rather like saguaros.  At the top of each arm was a bright pink, almost a florescent pink frizzy flower.  I mentally pictured a collection of these cacti sitting on that last paver tile and the price certainly was right, but somehow I smelled a rat.  I began investigating a little closer and discovered the florescent pink frizzy flowers were made of some kind of rattan and had been glued on top each arm.  No way, Jose!   I laughed, thinking I had almost fallen for it!  So when I saw this assortment of cacti at the nursery you can bet I had a thorough inspection of those tiny little flowers on the right hand plant!  Yup, real ones here.

Originally we had started out a few days earlier at Armstrong nursery in Upland.  When we went inside to settle up our bill, we spied this mat, and since we had decided earlier it was time to replace our old one, this seemed like the perfect answer.  It is a little smaller than I would have liked, but I just couldn't pass it up!  I thought perhaps Jer might balk at "pink flowers" everywhere, but Knight of the Garden that he is, he was ever the gentleman and let me have what I wanted.

Now speaking of Knights, just a few days earlier I turned off the beaten path on my way home from the market and took a short drive through a nearby older housing development.  I always felt a sense of mystery about it, because a very high fence surrounded it, the lots seemed huge, and so many trees were showing inside that it would seem to have been built in some kind of forest -- which we don't have in this neck of the woods.  Seeing as I had a bit of spare time, I turned the car into the development and found --- well, huge houses, huge lots, and some empty vacant lots indicating perhaps that not all the lots had been sold.  Then as I rounded onto a side street, I was nonplussed by this:

In fact, the whole house had been turned into some kind of fairy-tale.  If you enlarge the picture above and look over beside the covered gate, you can see a huge gold angel.  And there are many more things hidden around the yard and on the house, including on the roof.  But it was the knight in shining armor that got me.  Shades of Disneyland!  Coming upon it was such a shock.  Oh that I should know the story of what the owners had in mind with their fantasyland.  And I wonder what the neighbors think. 

I remember many years ago in Westminster a man painted his tract house blue and then put floral designs on it.  He was pleased as punch with his house, but oh my goodness did the neighbors have a fit.  (This was long before neighborhood associations and all the rules and regulations we have now.)  It was a rarity to have a blue house, and in the little mundane town of Westminster it became a "go see" sight!

Now in conclusion, there's just one more picture I'd like to share with you.  My daughter Bryn in Alaska recently had a medical procedure done and was left woozy and pretty much out for the day.  Her hubby drove her home; she laid down on the couch and was out like a light.  The next time she woke up, her husband was taking a picture of her and her support system.  Yes, there are 5 of them. 

Now for the refrigerator!

1 comment:

Olga Hebert said...

It's always good to have a 'clean out' day. Somehow those pups don't look like Alaska dogs to me!