Sorry I've been AWOL for a while. Our beloved German Shepherd died during winter break and I was just devastated. He had been diagnosed with canine lupus and basically the disease just shut down his system. He stopped eating and got very weak and while we were up in northern California for a family reunion, he just gave up. I felt so guilty leaving him alone at home, but we only have this family gathering with my husband's family once a year, during Christmas, and our son stayed behind (he started a new job) and was feeding the dogs every day and keeping an eye on Rommel. We arrived home in time to see him live for 5 minutes before he died. I felt so badly that I haven't done anything around the house or yard until yesterday. My garden is nearly non-existent. It's been so hot that my sweet peas are kaput. I didn't plant anything else except for some California poppy seeds and a few sunflower seeds that I put out back along the dog fence. While it's been too hot for the sweet peas, they are sprouting. The wildflowers out front are developing nicely and I see lupines, poppies, and some other flowers among the greenery. I noticed a few early wildflowers along Highway 74, which goes from Palm Desert up into our local mountains. It's very early for them and last year they didn't bloom until March!