Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

June 25, 2008

Mr. Vu and his Crew, Part Two

After seeing what an incredible job Mr. Vu did on the back yard, we had to have him come back and do the front. I meant to take the "before pictures" but it was pouring rain that whole week. They arrived at 7:30 am a couple of Saturdays ago, and I was only able to take 2 pictures out my car window on the way out to do errands that morning. Great googly moogly!

Brian found that tree after a terrible windstorm we had in Dec. 1995. It was only about 11" tall and it's roots were all exposed when it blew past the door where Brian was standing (at work), the morning after the storm. He took it home and we potted it and then snuck it into Washington (along w/ the sequoia which is planted in the back yard). We planted it next to the front porch but didn't take into account the way the roof hangs over far, so it's growing out at an angle and has suffered a lot from weighty, wet snows bending it over.

They worked until nearly 4:00 pm. We tried not to look out the windows while they were working but it was hard not to take a peek every now and then.

They actually shapped all of the rhododendron bushes and cut back all the dense branches.

They trimmed the tree to ease the top heavy weight and also shaped the barberry (middle) and butterfly bush. Because of the cold weather, all the plants have gotten off to a very late start.

This looks soooooo much better!

More shaping of the rhodie bushes.

They also weeded and trimmed the azaleas and potentillas in the rockery, and shaped the heather.

Dogwood flowers.

For the Vixens:
So Brian went shoe shopping on Saturday and when he got home, he showed me his new shoes. I squealed with delight and said, "You bought Bobby shoes!" He goes, "Oh brother." I placed his shoes on the table, got my camera and he says, "Oh maaan! You're gonna blog about them aren't you?" He knows me too well. So then he offered to wear the shoes, Vincent's "black wifebeater of hotness" I won on ebay and take out his Goren-like leather portfolio notebook. lol

I'm not much of a soda drinker anymore. I used to consume mass quantities of Diet Coke in the 80's, then switched to Weinhard's Cream Soda for awhile, but overall, I'm not a soda fan. However, every time I went to Safeway and passed the Jones Pure Cane Soda, I became intrigued. Jones is the wacky Seattle company that brought us "turkey gravy" flavored soda and last year, a special Seahawks set of sodas that included "dirt" and "perspiration" flavors. But one of the Jones flavors being featured in Safeway is "green apple". I always loved Adam's Sour Apple gum in the 70's and I like apple flavored candy as well. So I bought some.

Could it be any more bright green? I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty and refreshing it is. They only use pure cane sugar as a sweetener and it's delicious. I have forgotten how good pop used to be before all the companies switched to high fructose corn syrup. If you can find Jones in your local grocery store, give them a whirl.

My BFF Julie is on her annual mountaineering trek. This year's destination is Bolivia, where she will attempt to summit Hyuana Potosi. She flew into Peru and I got a couple of emails from her, both from Lima and La Paz. Because she goes as part of a mountaineering tour group, she has to bunk with people wherever they stay. I got this email from her last Friday, and I laughed so hard [Caution: many f-bombs ahead]:

"my roomie is driving me nuts. she won´t shut up. fuck. no wonder i live alone. tomorrow we head to the mountains for trekking and stuff. it will be wicked cold up there. la paz bolivia is nasty. i will be glad to leave it. once in lima alone, i´ll just hover around my hotel and not venture far. whew. i´ll be alone. the group things get pretty trying for me after a while. i prefer my singleness. how are you guys doing. how are all your doggies. how is loci. haven´t been really watching much tele here. fuck. she is driving me batshit, sitting next to me at the next computer going on and onn. shut the fuck up. no matter where you fucking go there´s annoying people. ug. anyway. am glad i am here tho since this is a growing experience for me. ok, gotta go i love you both and will email both you Vixens as soon as i can. fer sher it wont be for another week plus at least. love, me too. ps. shut the fuck up and deal w-your shit and shut the fucking fuck up."

She cracks me up. She'll be home on July 5th. We'll be planning our trip to the Portland area when she gets back, and that's going to be my only out of town trip this year. Now that I have a laptop, I will be able to upload photos of the trip in real time. You know you are in the new millenium when you have more computers in your house than TV's.

Right now I'm trying to see if I can financially swing an overnight trip to San Francisco in August to attend our friends Donnie & Mike's wedding. Brian is already signed up for a voice over training at a studio in Sausalito, and he's not sure he'll be able to even drive into The City for the reception/party. Still, I'd like to put in an appearance, if we can afford it. Donnie used to live in Haight Ashbury and his garden parties were something out of Armistad Maupin's "Tales of The City". It was always quite the paradigm shift when we'd leave the garden and go back out onto the street, after spending an afternoon behind his building where you could wander around and check out all the cool things tucked away here and there. I'll blog about it one of these days, as I have photos. Donnie & Mike have since bought a house in the Glen Park neighborhood. I'd really, really like to go. I truly hate to fly, but it's only a 2 hour flight from SeaTac to SF. I might even have to suck it up and fly coach. lol
I got a message from Bryde's fiance today, and so far her surgery was going OK. He'll update me later on. She should be home soon, as it was outpatient surgery.
Weather's supposed to get hot this weekend....of course "hot" for here means 2 days of 85 degrees. Still, I don't like it and plan to hide inside.


  1. The garden looks great.

    Please try to pop over to Molly's now you have a new computer - it's beginning to get a bit thin over there, and I have sentimental attachment to the place.

  2. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Yard looks wonderful, shoes are HOT ;0)

  3. Jojo,the yard looks great!

    I have been home for a bit,I am fine,but a bit stiff.I will blog on it ASAP.

  4. luv the title, luv the shoes, luv your yard!! i wanna see a whole pic of your house. i'm sure you've probly posted one b4, but show us one again please??

    why did you have to sneak your trees in?? do you all have laws against certain types or something??

  5. wow! your yard looks wonderful! that motivates me to buy some plants for my balcony with my next paycheck lol. too bad i don't have a house to garden in!

    im glad bryde's doing good so far. i had no idea she had cancer. :( my prayers go out to her.

  6. It is boiling hot back here, your lawn looks so lovely and cool.

    Does Brian wear size 13's?!

  7. Bryde - I am very relieved to see your comment. Glad it went well!!

    Kris - there are really strict agriculture laws on the west coast and you aren't supposed to bring plants across state lines in case they have a foreign pest that could wipe out crops. So we sent the 2 trees, which were very small at the time, up on the moving truck and hoped that they wouldn't die. The movers hid the trees by boxing them in, so they couldn't be seen.

    Tess - No, size 10's but believe me, his shoe size is not indicative of....well, you know....

  8. considering there are diseases killing off native trees, the agricultural rules are necessary. i for one love the california heritage oak and monterey pine, and they are both dying off like mad.

  9. Oh, how I miss dogwood! The yard looks lovely.
    What a nice patient husband you have!
    There are lots of fires here in Norcal and the smoke is asthma inducing.
    Julie cracks me up.

  10. your backyard looks ready for that party...i'll bring the blender and the bags of doritos!

  11. You have a beautiful home! I love the flowers.

    85 ain't hot! Ohhh, what I wouldn't give for 85. (85 degrees = morning and dusk)


  12. 85 would be SO nice right now!It is 97 here.

    I forgot to say,Jojo,that soda looks like antifreeze!We have Jones here as well but it is so sweet that I can't drink more than a sip.

  13. Oooooo, Bobby's shoes! LOL!!
    Great pics, Jo, you have a beautiful garden.

  14. Daisy - we're uber wimps when it comes to warm weather. I can take about 70-75 b/f I get completely miserable. I have "seasonal affective disorder" in the summer.

    Bryde - what does it mean, "too sweet"?? lol ;P

    Some of the weeds are already growing back in the backyard, and Sagan's already dug a few fresh holes too. *sigh* We'll have to have Mr. Vu do a cleanup!

  15. Anonymous7:38 PM

    Oh, your yard is so grown up looking- like someone planned it all. Sigh..... Love the dogwoods- they are so beautiful. Glad Bryde is doing well.

  16. amazing garden. :)

    ..."turkey gravy" flavored soda...


    really? eewww...

    btw: brian is great for putting up with your bobby craziness. *lol*

  17. PERSPIRATION soda?

    Your home and garden looks so beautiful, babe. I love how I never see sunshine in your pics. I wanna move there.

    You going to SF??? POstcard, pleeeaazeee??? Just to say I have something that's been where I'm supposed to be :-(

    I'm so happy to hear Bryde is doing well....I was worried sick.
    Well, I'll think of you in that heat, while I'm thankful that I'm freezing my ass off here, okay? ;-))


  18. Anonymous12:18 PM


    aaaaaw. your garden and home is something out of SUNSET mag, Jo. Beautiful.

    i am home and so glad. your blog post about my roomie cracked me up. i made it to the top of HP. it was easy except for the scary exposure. more later to you in person over the phone, Lovey.

  19. The garden is great!

    But more importantly, your husband sounds great! LOL And he knows you so well, too funny :)