Category Archives: Days at Home

A Bittersweet Smile

My friends and family, as well as my readers who’ve been following my blog for a while, will remember my cousin, Lona. She and I were first cousins, born six weeks apart and grew up as close as sisters.

Lona spent the last couple of years of her life at a nearby convalescent center. Our mutual friend since childhood, Janet, and I visited her often. Her visitors frequently brought cards and little gifts to cheer her.

This was one of those cheerful gifts that I’m sure Janet also remembers.  Just a simple little (probably dollar store) solar dancing flower to bring a smile to her face. In fact, during her time there, she received two of them.

And when she was gone, I asked her brother if I could keep one.  It’s a reminder of all the visits we had where those little dancing flowers made us smile.

Lona passed away 6 1/2 years ago today (I realized that when I was scheduling this post).

And her little flower is still dancing.

And still making me smile.

~These Days Of Mine~

My Gypsy Garden

As you know, if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, we live in a ‘wild kingdom’ of sorts: rabbits, squirrels, deer, heron, osprey, turtles, birds…did I leave out anyone?? Oh, and raccoons.

For years, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the deer.  They are beautiful, and I could never, ever harm one. But it’s so discouraging to find the remains of a plant that was a late night deer snack.

Last year, I was searching on Pinterest for fence options with every intent on having some sort of fence installed by this spring. I happened upon a suggestion to string fishing line around the area you’re trying to keep off premises to deer.  The thought is that they can’t see the line, and when it touches them, they’re frightened and don’t attempt to enter that area.

Before you wonder about them being harmed by trying to cross the fishing line, please note that this line would easily pull up the stakes to which it’s attached  if any weight were to be put on it (or against it). And the areas where I use it aren’t ones where the deer would be running and get caught in it.

So, that being said, welcome to my ‘gypsy garden’, where you’ll find all sorts of gadgets, stakes, etc., to which I attach the fishing line.

This is an area where I wanted to plant a thunbergia (black-eyed Susan vine), which, evidently, is deer candy (or perhaps French Fries).  I planted it in front of that black trellis, and I also placed a pot of red Gerbera Daisies at the base of the tree. Deer also love those plants. The old coffeepot stake serves as one of the anchors for the fishing line.

This next area is beside our deck.  The fishing line here is protecting my garden phlox and some primrose.  In the past,  as soon as they were a few inches tall, the deer mowed them to the ground. The phlox (dark green foliage to the left behind the old washtub) still has a cage around it that I used to protect it last year. (Thank you, Motor Man, for building those cages.)  I can probably remove that now that the fishing line fence is in place.  The blue butterfly solar light stake is being used to anchor this end of  the fishing line. Mr and Mrs. Duck wanted to be in the picture, too corn.

One end of the fishing line in this next area is attached to this old, rusty butterfly stake and the other to that old primitive white chair. The fence is protecting the gladioli in the background. However, there will be a problem when the glads to the front of the bed start blooming. The deer will be able to just munch on them over the ‘fence’. I may have to come up with another plan before then, because I do love glads.


This kitty’s expression could be interpreted as: “Whoa! Do you think you have enough fishing line strung, lady?”.  (Good thing I’ve been collecting those decorative garden stakes for years.)

In another area near our deck, the fishing line has done a great job of protecting my hydrangea AND a yellow climbing rose bush (back right corner). I’ve probably had that bush for 15 years, but it’s been several years since the deer have allowed it to produce any foliage,  much less bloom. It’s doing great this year, thanks to that fishing line. The deer completely ignore the irises, the fragrance being too strong for the deer. (If only all flowers had that sweet ‘perfume’.)

And deer aren’t the only critters we’re trying to keep ‘at bay’.

Up until a couple of weeks ago, every morning, we were finding our bird feeders on the ground, and the shepherds’ hooks they were hanging on bent or badly leaning. We thought, to do that much damage, the culprit  must be deer. But we wondered how they could get past the fishing line without breaking it. So we invested in a trail camera, and the very first night caught several images similar to this:

Now…. if only a fishing line fence could keep out the raccoons. Since that isn’t an option, we just bring in the feeders every night and put them back out in the morning. Problem solved.

We now have bluebirds nesting in one of the hanging geraniums on the front porch.  Many Facebook friends have warned me to be on the lookout for snakes attacking the nest. A Google search shows that, apparently hopefully, a slinky over the chain (or pole/post) will prevent that. I sure do hope so.

Do you have a ‘gypsy garden’? How to you deter critters from your flowerbeds,  bird feeders and/or nests?

~These Days Of Mine~


Just For Fun Monday

This morning,  some recent fun photos of a few of our furry and feathered friends. And who isn’t in need of some fun right now?

So, in no particular order:

1.) Those of you who follow my Facebook page know that we are loving the bluebird pair, Benny and Bonnie, that have chosen one of my hanging geraniums for their home this spring.  Their feeder is near this decorative post, outside our bedroom window. Sometimes it seems they’re looking right at us.

2.) Our kitties continue to help us cope with this quarantine. Marshall recently snapped this picture of his kitty, Sibs, from outside a window. She is so pretty.

3.) And here’s our Sundae, coping with isolation. Oh, wait, it’s just another day in her world.

4.) Although we don’t care for the dozens of Canada geese who frequent our yard in the spring/summer, I have become quite fond of one of them. This is “Gimpy”, whose wing was recently broken. He has apparently adopted me and greets me every morning for breakfast.

5.) Was this bird feeder advertised as squirrel proof?

6.) As you can tell, the geese have been hanging out on this little dock, and yesterday morning, Motor Man caught a glimpse of this heron taking in the view watching for breakfast.

Our pets and the wildlife are keeping us entertained, perhaps even more than usual right now. How are you coping?

~These Days Of Mine~



One Word Wednesday: Ominous


~These Days Of Mine~

One Word Wednesday: Nestled


~These Days Of Mine~

Comedy Show

I find myself, more than ever, looking for something to smile or laugh about these days.

Although the squirrels are so annoying hogging all the bird seed in our feeders, they do provide us with some entertainment along the way.

This feeder is just outside our kitchen window, so we have a front row seat for the daily squirrel show.

I couldn’t help but laugh at seeing the bird seed that had collected on this guy’s (gal’s?) tummy.

‘scuse me, squirrel….um….you have a little something there in your teeth on your belly.

I do believe this show has the potential to be a hit. Stay tuned.

~These Days Of Mine~




Majestic Monday

The most often used word to describe eagles would likely be ‘majestic’. (For those of you who saw my Facebook post about the eagle in our yard, please read on: there are new photos in this post.)

Last Wednesday evening, Motor Man and I were sitting at our kitchen table, having dinner. Something outside the window caught our attention, and we soon realized we had visitors in a nearby tree.

At first, there were two: one on the branch above this one, but that one didn’t stay but a few minutes.

Knowing he would fly away should I open the door, I took pictures from the kitchen window. I soon discovered that an upstairs window provided  a better opportunity. (I wonder if his ‘eagle eye’ spotted me?)

I took lots of pictures, and can’t decide on a favorite.

Then I decided to venture outside to try to get a better shot. I was doing okay until I stepped on a twig, and off he went.

Yesterday afternoon, Motor Man and I arrived home, and he glanced out our kitchen window. He whispered: “Look at that!  Get the camera!”.

We were happy to see him back in our  yard, and hope that’s a sign of things to come.

But, almost immediately, we wondered if he may be injured.  I opened our back door and, intentionally, wasn’t quiet about it.  He quickly put our minds at ease. (Later, I researched and learned that eagles DO “sit” on the ground, apparently for long periods of time.)

I apologize for disturbing you, our majestic friend.  Please visit again soon, and stay as long as you like.

~These Days Of Mine~