Saturday, February 27, 2010

Was I tuckered last night!

I was very busy yesterday afternoon... out in the yard. Sunny day, I'm not sick, not at work and it didn't rain yesterday; makes for a good day outside.

I dug the second 4'x8' plot... and planted some spinach (hopefully not too late).
On a previous day, I got trellises up, and put Uncle Chuck's Beans out. Of the four, 3 are doing very nicely, and one is looking a bit wimpy. Might put another seed or two down in that spot to make sure I get a plant there. On the sides, I've got some luffa gourd (seeds are years old, so they might not do anything), birdhouse gourd and mixed gourds (agains YEARS old, so they may do squat).

And I mowed the jungle down to a reasonable level. Our yard is only about 1/4 grass, the other 3/4 are weeds of various kinds. I've started weeding out from some, but when some are 6" high, I figure its time to mow.

I'm thinking I'll dig a 3rd and perhaps 4th 4'x8' plot. Since I gave up the 4'x4' plot to the compost pile (the big white box in the back), I need an herb spot, so another 4'x8' plot is in order. I'll save it for spring break, though.

Oh, yes, can't forget this. I broke the pitchfork. The middle tine was already majorly bent from me tugging on a root. But yesterday, I must of been over zealous in digging up the plot, because I stuck the fork into the soil, tug, tug, tug, snap! I'm really not that strong, it was all lever action, really! I wonder if I can just replace the handle, or if its worth just buying a new one.....

No Plastic is safe!

I have discovered the cat's vice. After 2 months, I had begun to wonder if he had any, or perhaps he really was a perfect kitty. And then last night I hear "crunch, crunch, crunch" from the other room.

"I'm gonna go see what Hank is chewing on" I say to hubby.

And off I go, only to discover.....

Yes, he chewed the sheet protectors. I've found chewed plastic bags and a chewed ziplock or two, but those get left on the floor when they are unimportant. Sheet protectors, though, those are $$! And what is it about plastic? He chewed a bow (like on a Christmas gift), but he doesn't go for the average plastic grocery bag (in every trashcan in the house).

I wonder, should I dedicate a used ziplock for Hank? Or should I work to break him of this habit? What do I replace it with? Should I make a vinyl toy just for him? Or is that risking my table cloth cover?

On the scope of possible vices, I guess this is a pretty good one. Its cute, funny, odd-ball -- and not destructive on things that are too expensive. :::sigh:::

Friday, February 26, 2010

My most recent garden visitor

Neither picture came out so well. My main camera is a small point and shot digital, and the nicer camera has a short battery life. Oh, well. Here he is anyways!

I've seen the squirrel around before, but I think it was last summer. The cat is in a frenzy when he is on the porch, Hank (the cat) gets twichy and makes an almost meow noise, but with out the vocalizing.

I haven't seen him terrorize the birds yet, nor dump the feeder, but I'm sure that is soon to come. I have a feeling I will be competing with the birds, the squirrel and a rabbit or two for my veggy crops this year.

The wind is strong today, mostly in gusts. And its cloudy. It was so sunny this morning, so beautiful, and it had to cloud over. WAAAAA!!! Oh, well, I'll get more sun soon, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Winter" Sunshine

After our second dump of snow (wow, wow, wow... its was a ton of snow!), the sun is shining this morning. School is scheduled to start late (yeah!) because of icy roads, so I'm lounging for a bit this morning. The snow is quickly receding on the grass, and its going to be wet later today. Its been quite a winter.

Since I've realized parts of our yard flood with a good amount of rain, I decided to move a plot. What was the 4'x4' in the back is now a compost pile. I'm thinking I'll add in two more 4'x8', keeping them in line with the others already out there. There are plots for watermelon, pumpkin, zucchini, and various gourds planned out, and I found out Huckleberry likes partial shade, so new spot for it, too.

I found an online garden planning tool, Its a ton of fun, but I'm not sure its worth it for me. I have the academic and artistic skill to draw and plan the same way, but I do not have the $$. Plus, the automatic nature of it gives me too much power for planning and I'll plan way more than I can actually do! I love the lay out and the plant list though.

I'm excited that it looks like the weather is warming up.... oh, sun, please dry out the dirt so I can dig, dig, dig over spring break!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Change ideas of "food" - just takes time

When we were first married, hubby was happy with sandwiches every day for lunch, or mere corn dogs for dinner. Recently, I've noticed that when I say "sandwiches for lunch today", he is disappointed and I hear hinds of a complaint. "What do you want?" I might ask. "I don't know.... stew, leftovers?" he replies.

I finally asked him the other day, "why aren't you happy with sandwiches and hotpockets any more? You always want leftovers now." He replies, "Back then, I never realized that such culinary wonders were possible, so I settled for what I knew was possible." Wow - warm fuzzies started growing in my chest.

I'm proud to say that my Beef and Barley Stew, Chicken and Dumplings, Jambalaya, Dal, and even my home-made pizza (and a number of other various home-made goodies) have convinced the hubby that the good stuff isn't purchased in a store. I'm also encouraged, because all the other changes I hope to bring are possible!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Finally..... stopped raining long enough for me to do something in my garden. And the soil was still quite wet. I raked it a bit to break up some lumps, and got lettuce, carrots and onions planted. I'm rather frustrated, because even with all that I added to the soil, its still very clumpy and heavy with clay. Perhaps my expectations are wrong. Hopefully, as I plant stuff and it grows, the soil consistency will improve.

My grow light is doing wonders and I've got lots of little seedlings. I finally got a timer for the light, so its not up to me to remember to plug the light in or unplug it at night. More than once, we've been in bed, I say "what's that light? Oh, its the grow light. I'll be right back." That's a tad miserable, after you are all snug and warm in bed to get up into the cold. Here's some of what I've got:
Uncle Chuck's Beans - doing very well!

Marjoram, oregano, chives and thyme -- though all the seedlings look alike, so I'm wondering if one set of seeds got washed into surrounding areas.

Can't hardly see them, but Cherry Roma Tomatoes

Bell Peppers -- wow are they doing well, and I got these seeds from all the bell pepper I purchased at the store to eat!

Garden Huckleberry - I'm excited about these berries. I hope for berry bushes some day, but these will do until then.
I've got Mexico Midget Tomatoes coming up in droves, as well as rooted Rosemary and one little Habanero Pepper. Those didn't do so well, but I'm not sure why. Seems like I'm getting ever better at this, both blogging and gardening!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weather and such

Even after sitting all night, the snow remained.

It was almost a winter-wonderland out there. Brisk and chilly, just breezy enough to send a shiver down your spine.
Now, at 4 pm, most of the snow is gone, but not all of it. If it freezes tonight, the local streets will be icy and scary in the morning. I'm planning on venturing out with a friend to get some grass-fed beef, perhaps some raw milk and free-range eggs. I finally got all my receipts into the spreadsheet, so I know where I'm at for the month money wise. I really hoping that my gardening will lower my food budget enough so I can afford more grass-fed beef and raw milk kinds of things. Maybe my perpetually runny nose will stop if I eat more "natural". That would be great -- but no expectations, I'd hate to be disappointed.

Food Renegade

I'm going rebellious! This is me thumbing my nose at processed food (even though I love some of it) and empty food (even though some is so, so yummy).

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Early on, not much fallen at this point.

Its sticking to the grass!

That grass is even more covered now, but pictures are hard in the dark with my little auto-focus point-and-shoot.

I haven't gotten pictures of the snow at the heaviest... its about 1/2" just on the grass. The sidewalk, patio and driveway are very slushy, with a think layer of smoosh. The road was totally white with only car tire tracks. This is crazy.... I heard that it doesn't snow here. But I guess we were all proven wrong this winter. Cold nights down in the 10s, and now snow that doesn't melt on contact.

Luckily, no loss of power or any such inconveniences. Hubby leaves tomorrow for a funeral in Wisconsin. So, I'll be lonesome Friday and Saturday, and car-less. With luck Saturday will provide some garden work time.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sunny Day -- oh, joy

I finally get a sunny day and I'm too pooped to do anything.

I hosted a very fun slumber party last night with some girl friends while the hubbies are gone to a philosophy conference. We were up till 2 am watching a few fun TV shows and having significant conversations. One poor gal was up to be at work at 7 am (I think she was a tad late -- and it was my fault. I goofed with the alarm setting at 2 am the night before). And I was awake at 7 am... just awake. Finally, at 800, I decided to have some coffee. By 2 pm, I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open! I've napped for a bit, put on a movie, napped some more. But alas... nothing got done in the garden. Here's to hoping tomorrow is a sunny day. says Monday will be rainy and cold again. I keep wondering "when will winter be over?" and have to remind myself that for many, winter ends in April and May. I only have to wait for March (or end of February). Can't really complain too loud about that.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


I have 5 built! Yeah! Now to find time to get them in the garden. I'm assuming that I need to dig them out come winter, so I should wait a week or two before putting them in....

Anyone want to come help me dig the second 4'x8' plot?