Spring Plans

comments: 62




Loveliest friends for dinner Tuesday night. I made a salad with roasted vegetables, chicken tikka masala, and basmati-rice pudding with cardamom (my version of kheer). I'd make a double batch of this pudding next time. Maybe triple. 'Cause I wish I had some right now!

I was so lazy yesterday I didn't do anything. Well, I sat on the sofa and hand-sewed the binding on my quilt while watching Bravo for about six hours. It rained, again, all day. The thing I don't like about the rain in Portland isn't really the rain. It's the cold that always seems to come with the rain. It's really cold rain. It's never, ever warm rain. Even in summer. Cold water hitting me in the face just . . . I don't know. It's not that fun.

However, the ornamental pear trees that are blooming like crazy all over my neighborhood right now? Oh my gosh.

It's time for us to work on the front parkway. The old, spindly, unhappy roses are coming out and three raised beds for a parkway veggie garden are going in. Obviously, much willow edging will be needed. Oooo, that just made me kind of excited. Don't you think willow edging is adorable? And functional. I worry about the neighborhood dogs getting into my garden. Don't even think about it, you. No.

*Update: Any advice for keeping the kitterses out?


We're on a farm outside of Sandy, at about 1500 feet, and it's snowing today. SNOWING. This is my first winter in Portland. I just keep telling myself this is why it's so dang green and gorgeous around here....and I keep buying more heat lamps for our critters. We're supposed to pick our package honeybees tomorrow...ummmmm....?????!!!

It's cold here too, Scotland, and there's snow on the hills. I may just have to make the basmati-rice pudding recipe to keep me warm. :)

I can sympathize with you on the cold rain issue. I got semi-gussied up for an impromptu dinner date with my man the other evening, not even that cold outside (okay, 50 for us seems warm these days!), but upon setting foot outside, it started raining, and the rain drops were just plain frigid!

Summer will come...Summer will come...keep chanting!

WOW that sounds like my wednesday last week, I get sucked into wednesday night bravo LOL
I will take your cold rain and trade ya 120 balmy Vegas summer day any time ya want ;)

I had a friend with a raised garden out front and she had a heck of a time keeping the neighborhood cats out. They kept wanting to use it as a giant litter box. I believe chicken wire over the top too care of that.

As for the dogs, might want to make sure it is high enough that a dog can't lift his leg too.

Eww, right?

such delightful plans - makes you excited to go to bed tonight and get up tomorrow to start on them!

Can I just tell you how much I love your blog......I mean love love love love love it!!! And boy does that rice pudding look heavenly!!!

I've been looking for a good recipe for chicken tikka masala for a while...thanks for the tip!

Venetia H says: April 05, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Rain! Today is the first day of a hosepipe ban which we are told will last through the summer. It's because we have hardly had any rain in the last two years! And I don't live in the normal type of desert but in Oxfordshire in England. At least I can feel that rain has not deserted the whole planet - just our bit of it.

Alicia, I have used willow edging in my garden for several years. I am in southern California, and I have found that I have to replace it annually because it eventually (within the course of the year) rots from weather and our sprinklers hitting it (which is unavoidable). But nothing is as sweet looking to me, so I keep using it. :)

Our local Target used to carry Gardman willow edging when it still had a garden department. Now I order it online if I'm able to get free shipping. I usually use Amazon, but this was the cheapest I could find it this year: http://www.gardenstead.com/edging-panel-classic-willow-set-of-six/

I prefer the solid willow edging but this is cute, too, because the flowers peek out. :D

I live in Las Vegas and miss rain so much! So even though your rain is cold, enjoy it for me! There's nothing like rain to make your home feel cozy.

I wrote about rain in my blog if you want to check it out. It's the post from June 16, 2009. www.SundaysWithGeorge.blogspot.com

I enjoy your blog!

Hate to say it, but it's the neighborhood cats that may cause you more trouble! My neighbors cats think I made my raised beds just for them to poop in :(

So true about Portland rain, very cold. I'd love some of your pudding now, too!

Mmmm... rice pudding! We will share some sunshine with you! I've been working my butt off cleaning windows and rooms... unfortunately my butt is still there and craving pudding now!

I usually think of our Portland rain as invigorating, not so cold. But it's been really freakin' cold lately - maybe because it's April and we've had enough winter already! The damp permeates everything because it's so saturated, which makes it feel even colder. It just feels weird to sit around an indoor fire in the evening while it's still light at 8 pm.

We bagged our bike rides the last couple of days because of the cold. Across the river from you and today we saw a guy with melted snow on his truck bumper...
It isn't winter, it's winterer.

My problem is not the dogs but the CATS! They scratch everything, and eat the tender new sprouts to the ground. I've had to put cayenne pepper all over everything to keep them out. Works great! Would work with dogs too, but sadly not with slugs.

Ok I have been under the weather and forgive my addled brain, but I recently discovered your blog and it is such a bright spot in my day! If I said that already, well here it is again!

I'm in WA state so I HEAR YOU HEAR YOU about the cold rain. I'm from Hawaii originally so it is HARD to deal with this weather, even though I've been in the Pac NW for some time now.

I think rice pudding WILL MAKE IT ALL BETTER. Going to try out your recipe!!

Rice pudding sounds good right now. Love that little rock with crochet covering. Do you have instructions for it.

Mary Lines says: April 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM

Mothballs! Cats don't like the smell. You have to replace them periodically, but it will keep them out.

Broken egg shells are effective on keeping kitties out of your plantings. They don't like the sharp edges on their paws,and it doesn't adversely affect the soil. It worked in my flower bed and kept my Greyhound "kitty roca" sampling free for awhile.

Maggie Halford says: April 05, 2012 at 03:45 PM

I don't know if there is any way to keep cats out barring some sort of cage effect (ick) but what I did was plant the barn and house cats a huge bed of catnip all for themselves and they hung out there stoned out of their minds most of the time..and left my garden alone. It could work..:)

I adore the way you set a table.

And my next store neighbor had a year long battle with a coupe of neighborhood cats and his raised beds. he finally planted a bunch of forks...yes forks with the tongs up and most of the handle in the ground scattered all over the beds so they couldn't get comfortable. Boy did it look funny! it worked OK!

Just so you know, one evening after reading a cat-centric post of yours, I referred to our own naughty feline as "kitterses" and now my husband says it always. So funny.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.