Thursday, October 27, 2005

I was back in CA last week

Half Moon Bay pumpkin patch.

I was in California last week; business and pleasure wrapped up in one long trip.
I went with friends to the Half Moon Bay pumpkin festival.

I was so tempted to go see my former garden.
I only had time for a drive by of the house. It looks great, they replaced the petunias in the garden box with bright yellow and orange mums.
The neighborhood is still transforming. Two houses were undergoing "curb appeal".
Word must have gotten out on our success in selling.
In just a few months, a small four or five new home division was under construction just down the road.
El Sobrante was always one of the best buys in the San Francsico Bay Area and it now looks like it's payday has finally come. Good Luck to the sellers and good luck to the buyers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Do I drive by or knock on the door

Can you ever go back again....Just to look?
I am back in California this week.
Should I go back to see my garden?

Monday, October 17, 2005

My tale told twice...extra nice

October 11, 2005
A blog to sell your house as told by two journalists
If you want to sell your house, you can ask a real-estate agent for help. But, as some U.S. individuals are successfully doing it, you also can start a blog to promote your beautiful garden or the presence of a nice school in your neighborhood. I wanted to tell you about this particular usage of blogs by very small companies -- yourself -- for a while now. But today, I'm wondering how two different journalists have found and interviewed the same person with almost exactly the same words. You'll find below the first paragraphs of an article published by the Los Angeles Times in July 2005 and of another one published today by the Wall Street Journal. UPDATE (October 11, 2005): Raymond Hennessey, the editor of Tara Siegel Bernard at Dow Jones Newswires, assures me that she found and interviewed Mesha Provo independently. The fact that the details are similar comes from the source, not from the journalists.
Here is the beginning of an article by Jeff Bertolucci, published by the Los Angeles Times issued on July 24, 2005, "On bloggers' turf" (free registration necessary).
When Mesha Provo and her husband decided last March to sell their 1,350-square-foot home in El Sobrante, a Bay Area suburb, she saw green in her garden. A self-styled "fanatical gardener," she recognized the potential draw of her labors — and she hoped to find a buyer who would appreciate her garden's beauty.
So in addition to hiring an agent to list the property, Provo started an Internet Web log — blog for short — and told her real estate agent to include the Web address on her home's Multiple Listing Service information.
Each day, she wrote about and posted photos of her daisies, jasmine and roses to entice prospects.
"I had this idea that I would first tease them with pictures of the garden," said Provo, 52, who is the national sales manager for Ballentine Vineyards in Napa Valley. Later, she added shots of the home's interior and exterior.
Her clever marketing appeared to work. The house sold for $612,000 — $43,000 more than the original asking price — to another gardener who read her blog.
And now is the beginning of an article by Tara Siegel Bernard, from Dow Jones Newswires, published today on the Wall Street Journal web site, "Home Sellers Turn to Blogs To Make Properties Stand Out" (paid registration necessary).
When Mesha Provo, an avid gardener, decided to sell her home in El Sobrante, Calif., she wanted to showcase her property -- with its arbor blanketed with wisteria -- to appeal to other plant lovers. She started a blog detailing her garden's story through passionate postings and vibrant close-ups of her flowers, and eventually added pictures of the house.
A gardener found her blog -- through a flyer put together by a real-estate agent -- fell in love with the house, and ultimately paid $612,000 for it, $43,000 more than the asking price.
"What the blog did was take a buyer, before he walked through my door, and sold him on my house," said the 53-year-old Ms. Provo, national sales director of Ballentine Vineyards in Napa Valley.
As you can see, Tara Siegel Bernard has used exactly the same example as Jeff Bertolucci. The only difference is that Mesha Provo is now one year older than in July But of course, we're in October now..

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Did anyone see this story in print yet?

DJ Homeowners Get Creative With Blogs In Making Sales Pitch

By Tara Siegel Bernard

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Despite the still-hot real estate market, some
homeowners are resorting to clever sales tactics to find the right buyer.

As national sales director of Ballentine Vineyards in Napa Valley, Mesha Provo knows the art of promotion. So when Provo, an avid gardener, decided to sell her home in El Sobrante, Calif., she wanted to showcase her masterpiece, from the arbor blanketed with wisteria down to individual blooms, with hopes of finding a horticulturally-inclined buyer. Since this would be hard to do through a traditional listing, she started a web log, or blog, detailing her garden's story through passionate postings and vibrant close-ups of her flowers, and eventually added pictures of the house.

The result? A gardener found her blog -- through a flyer put together by a traditional agent -- fell in love with the house, and ultimately paid $612,000 for it, or $43,000 more than the asking price.

"What the blog did was take a buyer, before he walked through my door, and sold him on my house," said the 53-year-old Provo, whose blog was located at

Though the Internet has already added a dimension to traditional real-estate listings -- with photos and floor-plan illustrations -- and provides another channel to list homes, blogging adds yet another scope, a way to tout intangibles in a more personal forum.

Take Alan Weinkrantz. "I was trying to tell a story about a home that had been well-cared for, well-maintained, has a lot of character and an interesting neighborhood," he said of his blog, which highlighted features beyond his Alamo Heights, Texas, home's four walls. Weinkrantz, who presides over his own public-relations firm, wrote about his great neighbors, the quality elementary school in walking distance, and the beauty of trying new wines on his porch.

However, right now, it appears that such blogs -- they're nearly 19 million overall, according to Technorati -- are best used as a complementary tool. Weinkrantz, who also posted a recent inspection report on his web log, recently sold his home through a traditional broker. He admits that it took an article in the local newspaper to bring any significant attention to his home diary, while Ms. Provo had her blog address on a flyer.

"The blog is a great low-cost, word-of-mouth marketing tool that can spread something," says Steve Rubel, a marketing strategist with CooperKatz & Co., a public relations firm in New York.

However, it's not always efficient, because it's not local. "You have to have many people, locally, talking about the blog" when dealing with a locally-driven business like real estate, says Rubel, who who focuses on setting up conversational marketing programs like blogs. "Right now, they are hard to find.This will have the greatest value when there are networks to find these blogs."

Real-estate brokers have also turned to these online chronicles for their own reasons, which range from drumming up business to creating a soap box where they can comment on the market, interest rates, or the mainstream media's take on the industry.

"Having a blog is an excellent way to get business," says John A. Keith, a
real-estate agent, primarily for buyers, with Coldwell Banker in Boston. He receives between 20 and 30 contacts a month through his blog, called Boston Real Estate Blog, resulting in about one paying client that he ultimately guides through closing. "That may not sound like much, but it is," he says, adding that it beats direct marketing and is "incredibly cheap" given the $8.95 a month

Lisa Maysonet, an agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman in New York, said she received so many real-estate-related queries -- she can't even board the elevator in her own Manhattan building without fielding a few -- that she decided it would be effective to answer everybody's questions in a single forum.

"It almost grew out of a necessity," says Maysonet, whose blog is called City Vu at "It's a way I can give them information without having to speak to everyone everyday."

It also positions you as an expert, she says, and enables her to draw on her 20 years of real estate experience and share her take with others. "It's like when you give out a business card," she explains, "You don't necessarily get a hit back (right away) but it's generating an intangible."

Setting up a blog -- whether it's for real estate, other business, or even
personal diarist purposes -- is easy to do. Google Inc. (GOOG) hosts a service called Blogger,, which provides step-by-step instructions to create a web log free of charge. Six Apart Inc. offers a service at, which costs $4.95 per month for a basic weblog with one author. They also offer a service called Movable Type, which is geared for businesses, as well as other services (

Concludes Ms. Provo: "It's definitely the (wave of) the future."

-By Tara Siegel Bernard; Dow Jones Newswires

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Did you read the Dow Jones article?

The interest in blogging and real estate has blossomed, as my garden did this past Spring. Ms. Tata Siegel Bernard wrote a great article for the Dow Jones Newswire service about "Homeowners get Creative with Blogs in Making sales pitch."

I appreciate her kind words and it make me think that I should get on the ball and write a magazine article or small book about all that I learned.
The photos would be an added touch. What do you think?

So now, go visit and see what I am now up to.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Red Oak Hollow is up and running

I finally did it.
I started my new blog.
Come visit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Daisy Mae tales in now in business

New photos and her little doggie tales...
Check it out.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Here's looking at happiness

They are looking at the pond. My husband is showing them the little technique to keep it running and the fish happy and healthy. They are the new gardeners! We have kept in touch and they love the place! Our former home is their happy home. The garden is in good hands!

For those of you who came across this blog and want to know more on how to help sell your property thru blogging, please scroll down to the beginning. I started this blog in March. The beginning, like in any story is the best place to start. I learned a great deal about blogging, my garden and my life thru this process. It's not easy. It is not for everyone. You need a great camera. I have a Sony Digital Camera Mavica, 5.0 mega pixels. The camera is great on close-ups. You also need copy and copy comes from your heart. How do you feel about your place. Can and do you want to share that?

Take this simple test. Go find your egg timer. Set it for three minutes. Start talking about your house, in an honest, inviting way. Do you find what you are saying interesting? Can you talk for three minutes on this subject? Write a paragraph about your porch, your garden, the stove....whatever. Does it sound like prose or does it sound like an MLS listing? Do you really want to do this?

Real estate blogging is the opposite of real estate staging. We had a stager come in. She was good. She helped me make our bathrooms look bigger and I took about 80% of her advice and employed it in the staging of the house. I also spent around $400 total in the updating the look of the house.

Back to my point, blogging is the opposite of staging. Staging takes your personal relationship to the house out of the buyer's mind. It lightens, opens and simplifies the space, so they can see themselves in it; their stuff, their style.
Blogging shares your passion. Hopefully, it is so contagious that the first lookers are hooked.
They want the place to go create their enjoy all your hard work.....

Begin reading this blog at the beginning. Yes, it's over 150 entries. I will be closing this blog down and moving on to my other two. My Daisy Mae has developed a following and will have her own blog. Red Oak Hollow will be my next gardening and country living blog. I plan to work on it later today, during the heat of the day. It might be near 100 today. I want to get some bulbs planted. I need to work before the heat hits.

Yellow Rose left an imprint on my soul

I miss the roses the most. Absolutely! As I walk our rural roads, I admire gardens from afar. I have said hello to a few folks and ask to see their gardens, at another time. My walks are my much needed exercise. As of yet, I have not spotted a rose garden. It is the deer? Is it the rain?
Is it a different feel for the earth?
I have no roses here. I plan to..... Next spring!

My Blog Got Press! Today's L.A. Times,0,5278830.story?coll=la-class-realestate-news

On bloggers' turf
Real estate enthusiasts and buyers are turning to Web logs, eager to gain an edge.
By Jeff BertolucciSpecial to The TimesJuly 24, 2005

When Mesha Provo and her husband decided last March to sell their 1,350-square-foot home in El Sobrante, a Bay Area suburb, she saw green in her garden. A self-styled "fanatical gardener," she recognized the potential draw of her labors — and she hoped to find a buyer who would appreciate her garden's beauty. So in addition to hiring an agent to list the property, Provo started an Internet Web log — blog for short — and told her real estate agent to include the Web address on her home's Multiple Listing Service information. Each day, she wrote about and posted photos of her daisies, jasmine and roses to entice prospects. "I had this idea that I would first tease them with pictures of the garden," said Provo, 52, who is the national sales manager for Ballentine Vineyards in Napa Valley. Later, she added shots of the home's interior and exterior. Her clever marketing appeared to work. The house sold for $612,000 — $43,000 more than the original asking price — to another gardener who read her blog. Provo's story may be unusual, but it shows that Internet blogs have the potential to be effective consumer tools for home buyers and sellers. They also appeal to real estate junkies who watch and follow market trends. A blog such as Provo's ( is an online journal, a chronicle of personal opinions, reader comments and Web links to related topics. It's one person's take on life or on a particular topic — uncensored, edgy and updated frequently.

Some readers base their buying decisions on the information they read on real estate blogs. Brandon Farley, 36, of San Diego, is a devotee of the Housing Bubble 2 at "There's a lot of information out there — journalism and advertising — that's very pro about buying homes and investing," said Farley, a transportation planner who's waiting for prices to drop before buying. "I don't think there's been a lot — until maybe this blog — to provide a counterargument."
The Housing Bubble 2, a popular blog, is a labor of love maintained by 41-year-old Ben Jones, a writer and investor based in Sedona, Ariz. Jones, who's never worked in the real estate industry, posts commentary and links to real estate articles several times a day. Daily readership is in the "thousands," Jones estimates, and he's gotten as many as 20,000 hits (site visits) per day. It's not uncommon to find 200 or more daily comments from readers seeking a slant they believe isn't offered by their local news media. Why does he do it?"It's a chronicle of who's saying what and when," said Jones, who started the blog last December. He believes the U.S. is in the midst of a housing price "mania," and he personally blames the Federal Reserve, which "left interest rates too low for too long."

Indeed, distrust of the mainstream media runs deep with bloggers. Mickey Cheng, 42, a computer programmer in Thousand Oaks and a regular reader of the Housing Bubble 2, maintains his own site at "Newspapers are so heavily influenced by the real estate industry that they don't give you the correct view of the situation," he said. Cheng, a renter, is waiting for home prices to fall back to Earth before buying again. In February, Cheng sold his 1,400-square-foot home for $560,000; he bought the house in 1993 for $215,000. He currently leases a two-story home with a three-car garage for $2,400 a month. "The rent is a great deal," said Cheng, who estimates that buying a comparable home in his neighborhood would cost $4,500 a month with a 30-year mortgage. "Renting is half the cost of buying."

Ironically, many real estate blogs post links to housing-bubble stories written by mainstream newspapers and magazines. Cheng, for instance, posts a daily list of bubble-related story links on his site. Recent links directed readers to pessimistic stories on home prices from the New York Times and the Sacramento Bee. Bloggers often find that, like any new hobby, it is fun for a while. But it can quickly turn into a grind. Only the most dedicated — Jones, for instance — update their sites daily. "Once I got into it, I made a decision to post something every Monday through Friday, at least one kind of article," said Tim Iacone, an Oxnard-based software engineer who runs the Mess That Greenspan Made ( Though his blog isn't as popular as Housing Bubble 2, Iacone isn't preaching to an empty hall. He estimates the site gets about 700 hits a day.

Real estate agents have taken up blogging too. From a home buyer's or seller's perspective, these sites can provide insights into an agent's personality, interests and ethics — important considerations when choosing someone to market your home. Jon Strum, an agent with Boardwalk Realty in Marina del Rey, sees his blog, LA real estate ( as a "mix of commentary, some entertaining real estate stories and good information that people may not be thinking about." Strum, who started blogging in May, hopes his blog will attract clients, although it hasn't yet.

Many bloggers agree that a good site should entertain as well as inform, a fact not lost on Hanan Levin, a real estate agent and co-owner of the Champion Co. in Riverside. Levin opines on the housing market on his blog (, but his readers prefer the daily links to offbeat, quirky sites. He said he gets a lot of e-mail from people who say they spend two hours at work every day reading his blog. Levin, who specializes in commercial properties, isn't convinced that blogs are worthwhile consumer tools — at least not yet. "Even though I have a lot of unusual information about real estate," he said, "I doubt it's really useful to my clients." Like talk radio shows, real estate blogs may simply be giving readers what they want to hear. "It's a case of confirmation bias," said San Diego real estate attorney Christian Spring, 30, a daily reader of the Housing Bubble 2. "Readers are looking for support for their beliefs," he said, and they get that support from a blog.*

How to set up your own blogBlogs are easy and inexpensive to create, and numerous blog sites host pages on just about any topic.
These sites include LiveJournal, ; TypePad, ; and Google's Blogger, . LiveJournal charges $5 for two months of blogging, TypePad charges $4.95 a month, and Blogger is free.
Jeff Bertolucci can be reached at

Thursday, July 21, 2005

L.A. Times Real Estate Section soon.....

Garden for sale home may make next Sunday's Los Angeles Times Real Estate Section. I was interviewed by phone by Jeff Bertolucci for an article on real estate blogs.
He found this blog from Grow-a-Brain, which mentioned it on their website.

It may be published this Sunday, July 24th or the last Sunday of the month July 31st.
I am sure it will be fun to check out. My blog worked wonders in finding the right buyer and many of you who found this blog would like to pursue the same thing.
Hopefully, the times article will be packed with ideas.

I feel flattered that my ramblings and photo's have gained a little noticed in the legit press.
I need to get my next two blogs started:
Gardening from the ground up and adjusting to country living in the South.
Stories and photo's from the mind and voice of Miss Daisy May, Tennessee Terrier.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Sewanee Writers' Conference

I am not just living in the sticks.

I have found a place , that is both rural and cultural. I live near academia. The University of the South is at sleeve's length away. I have spent two evenings this past week and plan to do the same this evening, attending the readings of professional writers at the Sewanee Writer's Conference. Just 10 minutes from my porch, I can sit in a hall and enjoy the works of some fairly famous writers, reading from their own.

Tuesday, I heard from John Casey, Wednesday from Margot Livesey and Alice McDermott.
Tonight is is fiction from Randall Kenan. It's free. It's local. It's cultural and I am not sitting in front of the TV.

Best of all, I am not a writer. I have absolutely no ego involved in attending the lectures and readings of this conference. I am an absolute observer. I arrive early and easedrop. It's pretty easy to do, because the talk becomes open and loud as it fills the room. It quiets down as the speaker is introduced and ends with a lengthy applause when they are done. I've just been enriched and it was for free.

I get in my car drive and drive home, remembering some of the turn of phrases and the deeper meaning of it all.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

It rains here

It might sound odd that I would notice the rain, but I just came out of living in the desert called California. It never rains in the summer in California. It did this year this past June and the state goes into a tizzy.

It rains here. We are getting the leftover's of Dennis. It's nice rain. Warm summer rain. Muddle puddles. Mud puddles everywhere.

The electric went out as I sat working in our garage. I am trying to set up my office. This building, the garage with two offices, stands but it is not finished.
Do contactors actually finish their work? There is a roof, doors and walls. No drywall. I thought I would have my walls painted by now and my furniture rearranged a few times. But no problem, because there is no furniture. I made phone calls by candlelight, this morning till the lights came back on.

Our stuff is still in transit. I call and speak so sweetly to Josh, the moving van driver. He promise to be here on Saturday. I know the reckless delay is not his fault, but he is the only one I can speak to. The owner of this company won't take my calls. He is out making more money, misleading more people. I chose this company because the owner did the estimate and said he was always available during our move. Now, he won't take my calls, passes me on to his bulldog wife, who demands more money and passes me on to the scheduler who continues to lie and has few answers....
Once we receive our goods and overpay their increased ransom payment, I am going to gleefully write the Better Business Bureau, Michael Finny on your side, (local TV consumer reporter), the Home and Garden Network Garden Message Board, the CUP and anything and everything else I can think of to report my consumer dissatisfaction for this dishonest moving company. I am so ready to rant.....

Calmly, I listen to the rain and like it. The hills are green, the ponds are full and there are the most interesting mushroom growing everywhere.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Fragrant Memory

I miss my roses. This is Fragrant Memory, a hybrid tea rose. As Pink as pink can be. It was the only rose that I was able to grow from a clipping. I have tried many times, and just once it worked. I remembered I used root tone. There are two of these bushed in his garden, one in a wine barrel and the other against the fence in a raised bed.

Yes, the dirt did come. Around 5 yards, it's quite the pile. We tarped it because we are getting hit with the rains from Dennis. It is suppose to rain all week.

The best garden buy ever, was at our swap meet; 10 cent seeds, from 2005 season.
We bought 114 packets, of sunflowers, vegetables, herbs and annuals. A shoe box full of seeds. I am in my glory. I sorted them last night. Some I will be able to plant this month and next, some in September and the rest next spring. My mind is whirling on when and where.

I did plant some seeds last summer here at Red Oak Hollow and a few are coming back, a few cosmos and red amaranth. The bush hogging eats wildflower. I need to establish flower beds. I hope to start working on it this coming week end.

The good news is that the moving van left California on Sunday. I may see our stuff on Thursday. I miss all the stuff, the recharge cord to my camera, my work control book, the large bird cage. All the stuff I thought I could easily live 10 days without. I was right, but it's now pushing 20 days and I wait for it to appear.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The neighborhood

Our closest neighbor is some ways away. The walk does me good.

I am trying to start new habits. You never break old habits. You just replace them and the old habits vanish. I am starting distance walking and hopefully late night munching will disappear. If I keep farmer's hours, early to bed and early to rise, I won't have the time for late night snacks.

I have walked before, very successfully. That was 40 lbs ago. It does work and I have a perfect place to walk. Just beyond the few houses here, is the State Forest. I walked to the forest,today . I walked to Lake road to the little lake and thru the woods and it tracked back to the road. Daisy Mae loves it and then she sleeps the rest of the day. I am just clocking time now, later I will do distance. Yesterday was 55 minutes, today was 70 minutes. Getting a little lost can really eat up the time. I walk without music. I am still marking my surroundings, with sight and sound.

Just 5 years ago, I walked the Alaska Mid - Night Sun Marathon. It was my only marathon. One is enough.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Miss Daisy Mae comes in 2nd for smallest dog

Daisy Mae wins 2nd Place Posted by Picasa

Sewanee conducts a Mutt Show as part of their Fourth of July celebration.
Daisy Mae was entered in two competitions; Best Dressed and Smallest dog.

She wore a cute pink and white gigham dress with a pink visor, perfect for a summer day.
The crowd loved her and she made a great first impression. When we changed outfits for the parade viewing later that afternoon, (to an equally darling pink and green polka dot shirt), people mentioned her cute dress from the dog show.

She didn't place for best dress; there were some creative outfits more befitting of the red ,white and blue. The smallest dog competition should have been a wrap. Three puppies place fourth ,third and first.

Daisy Mae was the only adult dog in the winner's circle. Next year, the puppies will be dogs and Daisy Mae will be the same size. She did received a nice trophy for her efforts at being small.

Flowers to go....

How does a garden travel? Posted by Picasa

My California garden was not packed and shipped. The best I did was collect seeds and packaged them in simple white envelopes. Our belongings still haven't left California. They may get shipped next week. I am beside myself, because I picked the lousy moving company.

I won't lament. There is nothing I can do, till I receive our goods.

I do want to plant a few seeds. Now, it looks like I will have to wait till September. The August heat will not be good for seedlings, if I was so lucky to get seedlings.

Of course, I had to buy a few plants. At the swap meet, I purchased two yellow Butterfly bushes, "Honeycomb" Buddelia davidil. I haven't seen yellow ones before. They can grow to 6 feet. I transferred them to one gallon pots. We ordered 5 yards of dirt, that may be delivered on Saturday. I have already changed my expectations of things, should does not always work, may seems more promising.

I will be neck high in dirt, depending on where and how we make the dirt pile. The dirt will keep me happy till my seeds arrive.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Purple in bloom at our new home

It's been nine days since we arrived. I haven't done anything or so it seems.
It's been great. It's been years since I haven't done anything. I highly recommended it.
I have walked the property, taken walks down the road, been to town, been to two Wal-Marts, been to the Piggly Wiggly, stopped by the Saturday's Farmer's market and went to Sunday dinner at our new friend's brother house. I am RELAXED.

It's like camping, but now it's my life. I go back to work on Tuesday. We are still waiting for our belongings to arrive. They may leave Califoninia on Tuesday. On the 14th day, they may make the moving van. For 14 days, our stuff in moving limbo. After we recieve our stuff, with an added $800 surcharge, I will share this company's name with a big do not trust sign. But more of that later, I still believe our stuff will arrive. I still believe....

Sunday, June 26, 2005

We have arrived

This is the view of from our mountain.
Right from the Sewanee overlook.

We drove for 3 days, 12 and 14 hour days.
Everyone did well, except for my husband's back.
The bird loved the journey. He chirped often and enjoyed the constant attention.
Daisy was excellent traveler. I put her doggie bed in a large wooden wine crate and she was happy with her space. Sierra, the cat slept all the way in her crate. She had the hardest time.
Cats hate change. She is still hiding in our bedroom, but is using her box and eating.

It was long but an easy journey. It is so nice to have our small cottage waiting here for us.
Our belongings are still on the road. We are both taking the next week off, to adjust to our new home.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Daisy Mae says good- bye Posted by Hello

Last day in garden

Yes, this is the last day in my garden, excuse me, his garden....
I used the over- head system to water this morning...All those hoses have been packed away.

The movers come tomorrow....We hit the road Wednesday....I am truly looking forward to all of it.

When I arrive at Red Oak Hollow I will post again. I may start a fresh a year once our home is built we will have a guest home. I will take a year to tantalize everyone and pehaps someday you can come for a visit.

Happy Trails to us.....till we meet again

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Visitors let me know if you want to keep in touch

I have received more comments and emails than I ever wished for.
The nicest people leave the nicest remarks. I am thankful and delighted.
Each time some one leaves me a comment, it feels like Christmas and the Thumbalina doll is really under the tree.

Let me know how to contact you . Leave me an email, with your email address. Anonymous doesn't work cause I can't reply to your email.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Packing my blues away

I keep packing and I am still at 80% done.
It's more stuff than my eye could see.
15 years of stuff. I found some great stuff though, that I forgot I had.
I have some old posters of clowns and wine.
I going to learn about them, so I can sell them.

On this system, I am on dial up now, so it takes longer to post.
DSL cancelled my service on the day I asked them to cancel it for the day I move.
They can't change it, so I'm SOL for the week.
I will try to post some new pics soon.
I took some great ones.

I am collecting seeds for Red Oak Hollow. I am lucky because my spring flowers are passing and they are giving me a little bit of themselves to carry on in Tennessee.

My husband had his Tractor delivered. He is in man toy heaven.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I've been down

Yikes, I've been down with computer problems.
I hate DSL.
I am back to dial up, because they disconnected me early.
Their mistake and they can't fix it in time before my move.
I'll try to keep posting, but I may not till after the move.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dragonfly on the fly Posted by Hello

His commute

My husband's commute Posted by Hello

Can't take the commute any longer. Today was un-bearable. I start out on the back road down the mountain and not a mile in a deer runs in front of the car. To make it worse about a half mile later a Bluebird attempts to smash my windshield (he flew off so I think he managed). Goin' on about a mile and a half later, two turkey hens just walk across the road right in the middle with their six chicks in tow refusing to let me pass. Finally, to top it off, six cars passed going the other direction by the time I made it the first 15 miles. I just cannot bear it any more.

Even my husband is getting into my blogging....

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Best Memories we leave behind

Rusty and Molly at our camping spot Posted by Hello

This photo was on one of old disposable cameras. My husband shot the rest of the roll and had it developed and just sent the photo's to me. This shot is a wonderful gift. I took the photo. I don't remember taking it, but I know I did because my dogs always responded to me.

The photo is at least two years old. Rusty passed away in July of 2003 and Molly in May of 2004. Our Shelties were great dogs and they loved each other dearly.
They loved our camping trips up to the High Sierras. We had one spot that we returned to each year. We went for 15 years. Rusty and Molly are buried there, side by side. They have a good view overlooking their favorite little lake. Good- bye, good doggies, good -bye.

24 inches ....Really...

Catfish from Red Oak Hollow pond Posted by Hello

We all have our reasons for our desires......My husband's desires have been fulfilled.
He just wants to go fishing in his pond, when he wants to....
The catfish and bass are the extras; extra fun in catching them, extra bragging rights when they are this big, extra free protein in his diet.

His life is already de-stressed. He hasn't found a doctor yet. He is waiting for me to get there to set us up, with all life's particulars. He hasn't found a doctor, because he hasn't gotten stressed or sick. Tennessee is already working out for him. My husband's answer for "Why? "

The Closer , the better to see you my dear

Memorable lines from little Red Riding Hood.... Posted by Hello

Just popped into my mind , the scariest lines from my chidhood reading..

Now I can't seem to get enough close ups of flowers.
This simple mum shows off it tubular petals.
I have the mums right next tot the fish pond

The house is now his!. I signed the papers yesterday, he signs tommorrow.
I move in two weeks. The closer it gets the better it feels.
It still surprises me that when I tell people that I am moving to Tennessee, they say WHY?
They are not asking why, they are just saying WHY?
Californians are suppose to be the most liberal folks around, but they are very narrow in their outlook on life.

I have too many stories to tell on how rude some folks have been to me, when I have told them about our plans. It shows me that they are living life with blinders on.
I had someone say to me on Sunday," I guess it's good, that there are other parts of the country that people want to live."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Willie the Clown wins a Tony....

I am so proud of him....I knew Bill Irwin as Willie the Clown circa 1977.
I took clown class from him and loved the Pickle Family Circus shows and Bill's Vaudeville shows, one man shows....He is really a gifted and wondefully warm man.

A few months ago,Public TV had an hour special on him,(yes, he is that interesting) and I got his email and just wrote him and he responded.

I am so happy for him. I can't wait till I go to New York this September.
I have to see the show...... The following is from an email from his fan club, I just got this morning....

Bill Irwin has been awarded the Tony as Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for his work in 'Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'.This is his first Tony Award as an actor. Bill was previously nominated for his work as an actor, choreographer and director for
LARGELY/NEW YORK in 1989. He and David Shiner together received a
special Tony Award for a Live Theatrical Presentation in 1999 for FOOL

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Play the Name Game

I came across some web gardening fun.
Go to : and try your luck at naming new plants.
Hellebores to be exact. They are hell bent on Hellebores and they cultivate new species and need to come up with new names.
The prize is a four inch pot of the plant you named.
I entered four times. Can't tell you my names, becasue I want to win.

Better than a glass of orange juice

How Orange is orange? Posted by Hello

I like brights! They sock it to you!
It has more kick than a large glass of Vitamin C.

They can be a little difficult to work into a bouquet.
I made a great bouquet the other day with this orange lily and red roses and lemon verbena.
I will post of photo of that bouquet soon. It is quite striking sitting on our mantle.

Somebody asked me if I will continue to post at my new home in Sewanee.
Oh yes! I caught the shutterbug.
It really makes me happy to take these tight closeups of my garden. I wish I could go thru life and see everything this close and intriguing.

I will have 30 acres to take close-ups of. I will have a whole new landscape to plant. I can't wait to have the space to really make mistakes.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Geranium rustler

Pelargonium, common geranium Posted by Hello

I am plant rustler. It is highly encouranged in most gardening circles. It's a snip here and a snip there, run home put it in water and see if roots.

Rustling encourages me to walk the dog. If I know I can snip and be home within 10 minutes, I feel like an accomplished multi-- tasker. Years ago, when this garden first started and I use to walk our shelties, with clippers in my pockets. Clean fast snips!

At least ten years ago, I snipped these pretty white and pink outlined geraniums. Can't even remember when and where. I also snipped some basic all pink and all orange geraniums from some large bushes that were really neglected a few blocks away. I figured if they grow with neglect, I could do that. Those plants cover a long stretch of crappy soil along a portion of our fence. Geraniums like poor dirt; like dogs like decomposing fish guts. They revel in what others abhor. Perfect synergy.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Duck family moves in .....

Duck Party at Red Oak Hollow Posted by Hello

My husband is sending me photos of Red Oak Hollow. He is getting pretty familiar with the duck family that resides on our pond. I wonder if Daisy Mae will consider them friend or foe?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Daisy in the Primrose

Miss Daisy Mae pinked out Posted by Hello

Is is only me that thinks Miss Daisy Mae should have her own Calendar in 2006?

The nicest words I ever heard.....

Morning Glory: Star of the Garden Posted by Hello

"Wisteria, I really enjoy your pictures and commentary about your little corner of the world. Your words are just as lovely as your pictures. If you should ever happen to write a gardening essay book (which I would encourage you to do) I think you would have a bestseller!!!" Cathleen

These kinds words left on my blog, made me feel just like this flower. I can't express it better than posting this photo.

Now, if you ever plan to plant Ipomoea acuminata, more commonly know as
Blue Dawn Perennial Morning Glory make sure that you love it.
It will take over your fences and your neighbor fences. It will jump across the garden and you will find it co- mingling with honeysuckle and trumpetvine. It will snake up trees and entangle it self and bring the branches of the plum tree down, so the squirrels will have a better chance of feasting on the fruit. Blue Dawn may make you say "OH Heavens, what have I planted.!"

It is fast growing, as fast as my DSL was suppose to be; 15 -30 feet in a season. The bright blue flowers fade to pink and are more interesting as they age, just like us gals.

CorkBoard Legacy

Thinking of them Posted by Hello

I always saved the plastic photos that came with my roses, along with the metal i.d. badges.
The metal badges, I left on the roses. I thought if I cleared off the green house cork board and made a nicer presentation, it could be a help for the next gardener. He will be on a first name basis with the roses.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

June 1st and my countdown begins

Twenty days to much many things...I can handle it.. Yeah.. I think I can.....

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dog woods in bloom at Red Oak Hollow

Spring time in Red Oak Hollow Posted by Hello

I am so ready to be there. Twenty days to go.

Tigress, Tea rose that explodes with color

Tigress, feline rose Posted by Hello

New rose for me. Bought it last year at the end of the season.
First year it has bloomed so beautifully.

Chewbacco's offspring? Ewok baby?

Cutest dog ever Posted by Hello

This is Bailey, he is son of Blaze. Blaze is Daisy Mae's boyfriend. Although Blaze is one month younger than ingenue Daisy, he is a proven stud. He has sired two litters already.

Bailey is the pick of the litter and now belongs to Blaze's mom. She is looking for the perfect home for him. She offered him to me and I am so sad to say I can't right now. I didn't even ask the husband. If the husband sees this post, yes, I really want him, even though...We are moving...Even though a puppy is not a good idea right now...Even though....

Bailey is three months old and only 1 1/2 lbs. He is so tiny and may grow to be less than 3 lbs.
He is in excellent health, champion bloodline are both sides, parents can be seen, ect.
He is so sweet. They came over yesterday evening and I couldn't keep my eyes off him.
He is smaller than a Beanie Baby. He is very good natured, played with Daisy's toys and snuggles up and sleeps right on your chest. Daisy was certainly interested in him, but frankly a little jealous.

If you are interested in him, respond to this post and I will pass it on to his current mom.
She is very picky on his placement, very picky.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Tea Tree says farewell to Spring

Millions of tiny fuchsia colored flowers, Millions Posted by Hello

It time to say farewell to the Tea Tree in bloom. It was a good run, around four weeks this year.
The tree is so striking. It was in perfect bloom when we showed the house. Timing is everything.
The best thing for the buyer is that next year he gets to get excited when it pushes bud and begins to bloom. Excellent time to plan a garden party.

I keep calling him the buyer. Does he continue to read this blog? Let us know! Leave a message.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Pond we wanted and the boat we didn't

Red Oak Hollow pond Posted by Hello

The little spot in this photo is our boat. It came with the pond. Actually, it came in the pond.
The previous owners just left it.
I didn't even spotted it when we first looked at the property. My husband did , but he thought it wasn't a problem. He has already fished the boat out of the pond. We layed it at the end of the field to dry out. We figure it would make either a good planting box or a worm farm.
It has seen it's days, as a boat.

He knew that it was Lemon Balm and not mint

Lemon Balm to your knees Posted by Hello

When the buyer and I were walking thru the garden , he asked if this was lemon balm.
I knew then and there, that he was a gardener.
Most people would just see a green plant, some would guess mint.
He nailed it.
Now what do I do with all this lemon balm? I have in the past, dried it and used it in tea blends, sachets, and just stuck it in a vase with other flowers for it' s scent. It grows fast and I usually cut it thrice a season. I don't think I ever used thrice in a sentence before.

The color aqua

The color of the restful sea Posted by Hello

In my seemingly never ending quest to take extreme close ups of flowers, I have gone mad.
This photo is a fraud. It's my pillow. Not a real flower. Just Silk, but what a great color for a flower.

For the sale of our home, I bought an entirely new bed set for our master bedroom. I didn't like the neutral spread I bought, but it had a teal, aqua color running thru it. The bedroom set is not us, but it was part of the plan, to make there room as inviting as possible for sale. It worked. I even have had moving estimators say what a nice room the bedroom is. I packed up the spread and all the pillows. In our next home, it will be the guest room wearing aqua.

Does anyone know of this color in a natural flower?