Wednesday, April 21, 2004


There is a war going on in my backyard. Yes, that's right, at least it feels like a war and so far there have been 300 casualties.

Let me explain.

I consider myself a gardener. I actually consider myself a pretty good gardener. I have turned most of my backyard into flowerbeds full of wonderful blooming gorgeous perennials and annuals and about twenty rose bushes complete with winding trail, soothing fountains and comfortable places to just hang out and be peaceful. I plant mostly with an eye to providing everything I need to "get away" and everything the butterflies need to live all the cycles of their lives right here in my back yard.

So, in that pursuit I have spent the past several years trying to learn what it takes to maintain this type of garden, like how much to water (I usually water too much), how much to feed the little bloomers and how to keep them healthy. Here's the rub. I love the flowers and so do the butterflies, but in order to keep the butterflies I have to also be as organic as possible so they don't croak when they nectar on my flowers. Also, I believe that a person should try as much as possible not to use harsh chemicals if they can help it just because it's not good for our environment. So, after many years of fine tuning and getting everything just right, especially for these very finicky roses, this year was looking like a banner year for them. I had finally figured out the water thing and my bushes were looking great. No black spot and they were absolutely covered in buds. Covered, absolutely covered. I was so excited.

But, then the other day I noticed that the flowers were not looking so good and some weren't opening and if they did they were deformed. I was afraid to look. Finally I did and I found just what I had been afraid of. These bushes were in the midst of a fight for their life with the ugliest of the ugly critters that love to attack them-------thrips!


Thrips have to be one of the worst buggers out there on flowers because they get into the bud and do their damage sight unseen. They burrow into the bud and so they are very hard to get rid of because you can't get to them. The worst part is that the best shot you have at getting rid of them is to remove the buds they have invaded and then you really need to spray them to kill the ones that are about to invade.

So, yesterday I spent about an hour in my garden, DEBLOOMING  my rose bushes. I had to remove at least 300 fetal blooms. It was awful and just the saddest thing I have done in a long time. I actually felt like crying. I mean I have been babying these bushes along for at least three years and it just killed me to have to do this to them when I finally had these gorgeous bushes full of baby buds.

I was so sad. It affected the total rest of my day.

Today I am feeling mostly better. I went out just a while ago to spray everything with water just in case I could knock off a few of the remaining rose sucking monsters. It is still sad. My bushes look like they have been robbed. They look like sometime during the night, when they were fast asleep, a rose thief just came along and took away their babies and their beauty. I know they will come back and I know that it had to be done, but I know they must be sad and I am sad for them.

At the bottom of this post is a link for comments, please feel free to share with me some of your thoughts on what you just read. 

Monday, April 5, 2004



Recently I wrote about one of my new (new being one that began in adulthood) friendships and how important it was to me and it got me to thinking. I don't just have one friend I definitely have several.

Actually, I have developed a number of very important friendships in the past few years. Aside from my husband who is not just my true love but my best friend of the male persuasion and my sister who obviously will always be my closest friend of the female persuasion, I can think of at least three additional people that I have met recently that I count as true friends. All in the past say ten years. Heck of a deal.

This strikes me as a little strange though since I had the same one friend all through my formative years. Really just the one that meant anything. I think maybe I was a little too comfortable in that relationship because I don't remember any room for others. For the most part there really just wasn't a need.

But then a few years ago, well at this point it has been more than a few years, my one friend left me for a man. Shocked? Don't be we were "just friends" and heterosexual to boot. So when the man of her dreams appeared and lived in San Francisco she moved away. At the time I didn't have what I would really call any other true friends.

But I do now.
Happy Days, Good Friends, Life is Good!

Oh, just in case you are wondering or trying to identify yourself: One of my new friends is very spiritual and the best car/house sales person I know, one is actually one and is part of a "couple" of friends that make me hope I will always be as close to my love as they are to each other (to me the perfect example of what a marriage should be) and the other is a very "ethereal" personality and has provided friendship and presents that will always keep me warm, especially on my birthday. Other than those if you don't recognize yourself, well what can I say, maybe you're on that other list 

I'm a lucky lucky girl.................................................................very lucky

By the way, if you're family you're on the list by default.

At the bottom of this post is a link for comments, please feel free to share with me some of your thoughts on what you just read. 

Thursday, April 1, 2004


There are too many good restaurants in the Dallas area to settle for anything that doesn't measure up. I mean in a city this big with this many excellent places to eat you have to live up to quite a high standard if you intend to survive. Last night I had dinner at one of the area eateries that I can't possible see lasting very long. NOT IN THIS MARKET!

Dinner last night was at Mignon, a restaurant on Preston Road in far north Dallas, in far HIGH RENT district Dallas. By the looks of the place you are led to believe that you are in for an excellent dining experience. The decor is upscale and quite nicely appointed. However, that is the only thing that I can say was nicely done.

I guess we should have gotten a clue when on a Wednesday night this restaurant was very sparsely populated. Normally Wednesday is a big night for locals to go out, but you wouldn't have been able to prove that by the number of customers in this place.

What at first promised (from the name and decor) to be an enjoyable dining experience quickly turned out not to be as immediately the service was sub-standard. We were never told about the specials the chef was offering and so ordered strictly from the offerings on the menu which I felt were pretty limited. The service in general was unimpressive and slow as we later found out.

To start we decided on the appetizer of grilled quail served atop a pretty bland polenta with a sauce of some sort. Most every bite of the quail that I had was so fatty that I quickly gave up and allowed my dinner companion to gnaw on most of it. Next we ordered a Bibb lettuce salad with a vinegarette dressing, blue cheese slivers, granny smith apples and pecans. The salad wasn't that bad, but the lettuce was a bit limp. We mostly ate the apples, pecans and cheese. We also ordered a bowl of the Tomato Basil soup. It was okay, but I am still looking for the basil. Our entree was a $36.00 strip steak with roasted potatoes. I was extrememly disappointed with the steak, it was very tough, not only to try to chew but even cutting it was a chore. I will say that it was cooked to the medium rare we had ordered, but that didn't help. Along with the steak we ordered a side of sauteed mushrooms, very much overcooked.

Dessert was a White Chocolate Bread pudding with a praline ice cream on top. This was absolutely the worst version of bread puddling I have ever had. Not only was it not any type of Bread Pudding I have ever eaten, it was dry and hard and I never found the white chocolate. The ice cream was this dessert's only salvation, we ate it.

The wine list was extensive and very pricey. A glass of Pinot Noir of average label and vintage was seemingly overpriced at $8.50 for a small glass.

The ticket for this meal came to $95.00 without the tip, this for one appetizer, one salad, one bowl of soup and one steak entree with one dessert. Basically $95.00 for one person if not sharing and the servings weren't overly generous.

I give this restaurant two out of five stars and definitely do not recommend it and will not be returning, not with all the other choices I have here in the metroplex.

Oh yeah, I am not a Restaurant Critic by trade, just by nature (I don't even play one on TV). I live in a city with more great restaurants than you can "shake a stick at", and I eat out at least eight to ten times a week so I've been in a lot of them and know what I like. It's just my opinion, OK?

At the bottom of this post is a link for comments, please feel free to share with me some of your thoughts on what you just read.