Living On The Ledge; Potted Goodness & Nature Orgies.

Since Lillie {the dog who loves to pee in the house} has joined our family, I’m spending even MORE time outside; the other night, we were out back and I was admiring my potted herbs, veggies, and flowers and the fact that she CAN pee outside. I realized I’d not shared the update in this area, and I didn’t want you to think I was keeping secrets.

Ally recently mentioned how much she loves potted flowers, and I was all OH HELL YEAH with her on this topic. Also, I’ve nothing interesting to blog about this week so let’s visit the garden, shall we? I hope you put on your sunscreen because Florida.

This area behind our pool lanai was a dedicated veggie garden for many years. And for many years I would tend to this veggie garden all while cussing like a sailor. That’s not very zen-like is it? I could NOT for the life of me contain the weeds. It was beyond frustrating and I tried everything known to man. Paper, cardboard, praying, digging/pulling & mulch. It basically looked like the Sanford & Son of veggie gardens.

So last summer, we ripped it out, and I was going to throw in the towel altogether. Then I thought maybe I could mulch it thickly in most of the garden, then just use pots for all my veggies; fewer weeds: YES PLEASE.

This is where the Coach intervened and I don’t always like it when he intrudes into my department; but this time he had a good idea. He thought he could build a ‘shelf’ (minus the elf) on top of the area and I could then use it for all my pots.

Wow, the pic up there was May 2020. I can’t believe my salvia was that SMALL. (Maddie, do you see that? It’s five salvia plants!)

I planted butterfly friendly stuff in one end IN the ground(milkweed, salvia, blanket flower, verbena) and then the rest of the area was to be a ledge.

Coach purchased composite decking and had our guys in our manufacturing shop build it to his spec. Brilliant idea. Except it weighs about 500lbs; you should have seen our 3 friends trying to get this from the front of our property to the back of it using manpower and our sissy golf cart. Oh, for shits and giggles, they had to lift it UP and over to line it up over the irrigation poles that were in place. I can’t believe they are still our friends. They were cussing Coach for making something SO large and heavy; sadly, that man does not know how to do anything small.

It will NEVER be moved from where it is.

What am I growing on the ledge? Smiles, tomatoes, peppers, chives, parsley, basil, rosemary, oregano, some various flowers because why not, and for my swallowtails: rue, fennel & dill. Potted plants are so much easier to maintain than weedy ass beds.

This area truly makes me happy. I especially love going out here in the late afternoon when the sun has moved to the front of the house and I don’t feel like I’m melting. The area is always swarming with butterflies and buzzing bees pollinating here, there, everywhere. It’s practically an orgy out there.

Speaking of orgies, these two were getting after it right in front of us. 2021: Modesty has gone out the window.

Luckily Lillie didn’t witness this incident or that would have brought on “the butterflies & the bees” conversation.

Speaking of nature orgies: Happy Hump day.

Raise your hand if you’re a fan of potted nature!


Literal Butterfly Kisses and I’m Creating More Than Food In My Kitchen; Spoiler Alert, It’s Not Edible.

One day this past week, I was releasing some monarchs, and one of them decided to come in for a closeup. I was all, “Oh, ok. Make yourself at home”. I was impressed with myself that I had my phone in my pocket as she sat there gazing into my soul.

Why did I convert this to black and white? I was in a hideous state when this occurred. I’d been working the yard, flush from the heat; honestly, my hair hadn’t been touched by a comb or brush. Or, as my Dad would lovingly say, “You look like you brushed your hair with the leg of a chair.” 

Speaking of butterflies and weirdness. This is the cool thing I wanted you to witness

The monarch caterpillars LOVE to make their chrysalis on the edges of milkweed pots. Had you heard? They’re famous for this. BUT, this was an anomaly; two of them using the same exact spot for their silk. I wondered how this was going to work out with them being ALL UP IN EACH OTHERS BINESS. 

They always create this “J” formation for a good part of a day before going into the chrysalis state. J as in J’AMAZING. 

I could tell that they were going to create their chrysalis around the same time, and I didn’t want to miss it so I brought them into the kitchen. Which, by the way, they said Holy mackerel, nice digs, lady! Even caterpillars know a good kitchen design when they see it. 

Do you want to see something cool? 


Are you wearing socks? No. Then what the heck are you holding on to? 

I recorded it in time-lapse because I care about time. And lapses of judgment time. The guy on the right was SO annoyed with the guy on the left; he kept bumping into him with all his life-changing. Life-changing CAN be messy and wiggly. 

By the way, that’s the guy on the left’s skin that I picked up. Cool right? They shed their outer layer. Talk about exfoliation. 

For real, I’ve been at this butterfly thing for many years, and I have two observations: 

  • It is still amazing to watch
  • I still don’t fully understand how it all works. 

Oh, and guy number two made his chrysalis about 30 minutes later while I was in the shower. I should have taken them to the shower with me so I wouldn’t miss it. They might have been equally impressed with our bathroom but also traumatized from seeing me nekkid. I can hear them now: What in the world happened to her chrysalis? Body shamed by a caterpillar; that’s a new low.

Can I top this with anything cooler for next week? Well, there are rumors in the ‘hood that Sasquatch has been spotted riding a unicorn; I’d better check the surveillance cameras.

Until next time.


The Lillie Diaries; Get This Dog A Blog

How about an update on our Lillie Bell. Lillie of the Valley. Silly Lillie. Little Bit. It’s a wonder that she even knows her name.
She is doing just fabulous, thank you for asking.

I just checked the calendar to see how long it’s been since she adopted us and I’m surprised to see it’s only been six weeks.

One thing that amazes me so much is that she listens so well. She follows me around the yard, and if she straggles or starts to wander off, I call her, and she comes running, which isn’t easy for someone with extremely short legs. (that’s my story too, and I’m sticking to it!)

lady ma, I just chill here and u tak care of da crawly tings dat will fly and teaz me

She hasn’t grasped what or why I’m cleaning out cages and moving milkweed plants/cuttings here and there for my caterpillars, but Coach doesn’t really get it either, so it’s ok.

She doesn’t understand the sit command, but she does know how to ‘stay’. I have NO idea how she knows this, but she does. When I take the long walk down the driveway to take out the garbage or retrieve the mail, she will follow me to a certain point now and stop because she knows I’m going to say STAY. The first time I told her to STAY, and she stayed, I said: WHAT THE HELL? WHO TAUGHT YOU THAT? **crickets** It must be top secret because she wasn’t telling.

Ma Lady why U laugh an show me ur teef 2 every time U look at me.

We’re still working on the peeing-in-the-house issue, but I feel that eventually, it will not be a thing. Please Lord, let it not always be a thing.

I took her to the Vet last week, and even our Vet was surprised to see me with a little Rat Terrier: What happened to you and your love of boxers? What can I say, I’m evolving. Lillie has lost weight since she’s been with us; I’m sure it’s all the exercise. (she previously lived in an apartment with an older gentleman, so I don’t think she was very active; perhaps that’s why she loves watching TV so much. I swear I heard her whisper Wheel Of Fortune when I picked up the remote once or thrice.
Our Dr wasn’t worried about her weight loss, though; she said she looks perfect at 12.6 lbs.

ma lady I sit wit U in car all day if dats how long it taks 2 get sissy grate dane out of wating rum.

She’s such a curious little booger which is funny since I was always told that Cat Are Curious; take that Cats. She loves to chase lizards, birds, squirrels and has eyeballed a few of my butterflies. After dinner yesterday we were walking around the property and she was intrigued by a bird that was taunting her.

Ma. Ma. Ma. lady. u hear dat? it’s jus on da uderside of big wall. I need squakin bird.

She still sleeps in the bed with Coach and I and generally her favorite place so snooze is at the back of his legs. Luckily he’s very aware of her being there because I think just one of his calves is entirely bigger than her.

I love her so much and I tell her at least 59 times a day just in case she forgets.

Don’t even think for a minute that I’m giving less love to Callie because that ain’t happening.

Callie is in denial of her 70lb size and really loves being cozy in the beds I purchased for Lillie; she cracks me up.

Well, that’s all I have to say about that. Until next time.