Sunday, February 27, 2011

Second spring egg today! I think it's Trixie laying them, her comb is the reddest... but it could be Miss Penny Loo-Hoo. I'm rather hoping it isn't Penny because she is the mean hen who I am contemplating coop removal. However if she is laying she'll receive a reprieve.

After yesterday my body seemed to be in mild protest so I took it easy after church. Plus it was a warm, breezy day – perfect for being lazy. However I planted some new seeds that are probably going in the ground too late; but I had some room and thought I would experiment(cabbage & broccoli), and then replanted some plots that appeared to contain duds (I’m altering the planting method on these to see if that helps. If it does I’ll share details later). Weeded and watered everything that is supposed to grow. Continued on with the study clean-up/re-organization AND did the impossible “detangling of the computer wires”. I wish I had taken before/after pictures of THAT mess. Did the whole store thing and made a yum-yum dinner.

There have been requests for pictures so here are some of my favorite things to photograph… food!!! This was our dinner. Pasta with sautéed veggies: golden bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, ‘shrooms, with a snippet of sun-dried tomatoes for depth. Then sautéed shrimp. Mix it all together!


Where did the weekend go?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Day

Today was going to be THE DAY.

The day in which I conquered the world. Or at least my backyard.

Normally I am NOT a morning person. Never have been and never will be a willing one I’m afraid. It’s a shame. I love being up early in the morning once I’m up, but that whole getting out of bed thing… yeah it’s difficult. But I’ll admit its much easier now since I have someone who brings me coffee in bed every morning.

Today however as soon as The Mister leaned in and said, “Exciting day!!!” I jumped up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Is it sad that yard work would have me so pepped? I leaped out of bed (ok, I actually sat up, had some coffee, stretched, gave and received some kisses, and sorta rolled out – same difference), looked out of the window and saw… mist. Drizzly mist. Grey, drizzly mist.

No matter, breakfast came first and I was hoping it would clear up by the time I actually was ready for work. GOOD Saturday-morning type breakfast – egg, bacon, toast (real butter thank you) and coffee. Ran a couple of quickie errands with The Mister after eating. Spent 20 minutes looking for the set of keys that unlocks the garage. Found keys. During key hunt I realized how grotesque the house was. Still misty outside. Ok, change of plans.

I knew it would probably clear up later, I didn’t feel like getting THAT dirty and reminded myself that my house is my first duty, yard work and gardening is “playtime”. So rather than spend my time dozing back to bed (which is my usually morning response) I decided to actually USE the time and did some housework. Nothing major, really just a lick & and a promise. The big spring cleaning will be in a few weeks, after Crazy Daisy has been put outside permanently. There is no point to things like floor scrubbing at the moment. But it felt so good to get things in order and shockingly, took far less time than I thought it would. Good job! AND I found out one of the chickens had laid her first spring (post-molt) egg this morning! Gifts from the chicken gods!

Still messy outside! Run errands – dropped some oranges off at the “Food for people, not possums” basket at the farmer’s market, got some odds & ends from a hardware store and meandered home. Gave two extra eggplants to a friend. Gave two more to my dad. Watch The Mister work on the new fence. Went back out to the feedstore for some hay. Back home and eat a little. Sky is starting to clear, FINALLY.

NOW… time to work!

The bulk of my list this weekend has to do with what I’ve been calling: “De-cracker the backyard”. You might have to live in the south to understand what a cracker yard looks like. Basically messy, unkempt, and junky. So here’s what I did…

·Cleaned the chicken coop. This has been desperately needed for a long, long time and had been on my list already, but I felt extra motivated by this morning’s egg. Raked out all the nasty stuff in the run, and replaced it with fresh hay. Thoroughly cleaned out the feeder and water jug. Sprayed down the bottom of the coop. Raked the entire area around the coop and pushed all into a pile that might or might not be a new compost attempt. Picked up a bunch of junk that’s been lying around in the area.
·Took down the chickenwire fence around the garden, weedeated the entire garden border, put fence back up neatly.
·Tore down and pulled up dead frozen banana trees. Debating on whether I want new ones. Banana trees are nasty and promote roaches. But they grown well here and it’s FOOD. Will think about it.
·Planted the cherry tomato plant that I wanted in the pot and not in the main garden.
·Began dumping out the old potted failed blueberry experiment but stopped when I realized I might have a better idea for that particular dirt (it’s very a very specific kind). More on that later if it works.
·Started to weedeat the area for the blackberries and the whacker decided it had had enough for the day. Will have to wait til The Mister can figure out what I was doing wrong when I reloaded it.
·Helped a little (very little) off and on with the fencing project.
·5:00 – DONE.
·Not quite – fixed our stopped-up bath drain. We’ll see how long it lasts, we’ve been having problems with our bath drains and this was the latest in a series of experiments. If this doesn’t work for long we’ll have to break down and get a plumber.
·Then… shower, din-din, and some writing.

Today was all about labor and I’m feeling it, sore and tired all over. Tomorrow will be about joy and relaxation and Sabbath. I shall plant some seeds!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Weekend kickoff!

Snuck out of The Cave at 15 til 5 and shot over to one of the nurseries. Priced some pecans, stared longingly at some fruit tree, checked on the stock of blueberry plants, resisted the herbs and made my way to the veggies. I never remember to plant seeds for a few plants early enough so I picked up three types of heirloom tomatoes, Black Beauty eggplants, a Tam Jalepeno, and a California Golden Wonder Bell Pepper. Scooted home, weeded the garden, planted the new plants. Picked up dinner (bad bad bad - Pizza Hut of all things!!!) and wolfed it down. Picked 18 lbs of the remaining oranges off the tree, picked the fallen rotting ones off the ground. Fertlized the tree. Prepped small planters for 2nd batch of seeds that I'll plant tomorrow. Walked half a mile with The Mister and Crazy Daisy.


Now it's almost ten and I'm going to bed. Tomorrow will be uber uber busy in the very best way!!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Garden is weeded, many things accomplished.

Chickens are sleepin’ (still no eggs post-molt)

Crickets are singing.

Dishes are washed and the tum is full of yum.

Windows are opened and but the air is still.

A pleasant, quiet peace pervades.

Cold glass of milk while chillin’ with my peeps (you know who you are).

Weekend ahead.

It’s been a good day.

Garden Update

Note to readers: If you ever want to see my head spin like the chick from "The Exorcist", watch me misplace my garden map.

Ok. On January 22 I planted:

Romaine Lettuce
Butter Lettuce
Red Lettuce
Mustard Greens
Georgia Collard Greens
Scarlett Nantes Carrots
Detroit Dark Red Beets
Purple Top White Globe Turnips
Purple Plum Radish
Sweet Peas

So far I have happy and thriving carrots, beets, turnips and both collard & mustard greens, and the peas. The peas are especially lively so far. The rest have yet to sprout and as this is the second failure on these seeds to even make an appearance, I think it's time to retire them and move on. However I'm happy since so far this is the most successful garden I've had. Yes, I just jinxed it ;-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How does God view surburban landscaping?

Please inform me if you know to whom this may be attributed!

Imagine the conversation The Creator might have had with St. Francis on the subject of lawns:

God: Hey St. Francis, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there in the Midwest? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect "no maintenance" garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are these green rectangles.

St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But it's so boring. It's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. The begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it... sometimes twice a week.

God: They cut it? Do they then bail it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No Sir. Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God: Now let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes, Sir.

God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis: You are not going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves form compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life.

St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

God: No. What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter and to keep the soil moist and loose?

St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. The haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

God: Enough. I don't want to think about this anymore. Sister Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

Sister Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber", Lord. It's a real stupid movie about....

God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.