Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Back in the day

April 16, 2011

I hadn't thought about it being the anniversary. I know I have a lot of pictures from the time but I think they are trapped on the old computer and are inaccessible - I need to correct that, there are a lot of things on that computer I want to be able to get at and its not hard, the machine still works and all I have to do is turn it on and deal with the cranky slowness of the old beast.

I was moaning about the general half assedness of my yard over the weekend - needs mowing,. needs Knock-Out roses along the fence line, needs the neighbors to chop down offensive garden shading tree, needs to be leveled, needs to be re-sodded, needs garden moved to other side of yard, needs, needs, needs.

And then I remembered

Ii could be worse and actually,  it made everything better. I got a new fence, I got a new shed and I got a lot of the hateful ivy out of my yard. It opened up the sky and allowed me to have more and better gardening opportunities. It didn't happen over night but it got better. I need to breathe and get a plan. When all this happened, after I stopped hyperventilating, I made a plan and I followed through. The plan didn't come together as fast as I wanted it to but it did come together, if I want to make progress back there I have to get it together and  decide what I want to to do and how I am going to get it done.

It went from what you see above to below.

I can't count on another Act of God to get work done, so I'll just have to  act with what I have. Its not going to get leveled and its not going to get re-sodded. I could just keep it mowed because I know I like it better when its neat and less jungly and I see Knock Out Roses for sale here and there and they aren't so expensive I can't just buy the six or seven plants I probably need. I do need to work out irrigation and doing something about the abysmal soil along the fence line.  It can be done and sooner or later, I will do it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Garden Update 5 - The freezinging

I want a gold star for gardening. I just spent twenty five minutes in the cold and rain in shorts and sandles running around trying to find cover for my plants so they don't die on me when the temps drop over night.

Also, I will never plant early again. The old wives tale is to not plant before Good Friday and I see that as sound advice. Planting "late" is not going to negatively affect the harvest or the health of the plants. I jumped the gun so I ended up wading through puddles and getting soaked and cold to the bone. I could have just as easily planted in two weeks - but I got sucked in by on sale plants at Home Depot and now here I am. In their favor they are nicer and few weeks older than the infant plants I have worked with in years past, and so I think they should be okay... and if they aren't, its still early enough in the season that if I have to replace one here or there its not going to be too traumatic.

The potatoes have come along nicely, and I can't just replace them if they freeze so I made sure that they were fully covered and I hope its enough to offer the protection they need. It was reveled to me why I have so many flower pots around - they make excellent shelters for young plants! They are exactly the right size and I can just pop them back into the basement when it warms up again. They are a hearty plant though so I think even if they really froze they would maybe be okay. All the plants are going to be annoyed because I'm not going to be able to uncover them before at least lunch time.  I'm  choosing to see the time spent as "quality time in a terrarium" and not so much like "stuffed in the dark under a  plastic pot".

.I also used some old sheets and those are going to be harder to deal with post-cold snap. I came up with the pot idea after I covered the tomato cages with the sheets and my that time they were all ready sodden and the idea of taking them off and getting even more wet and cold and gross was not attractive or in the cards. I think it will be okay and I can just throw the whole mess in the laundry after work.

I would have taken pictures of all this but I didn't want to take the camera out in the rain. Not  because I thought I should protect myself from further cold and wet and gross but because I  wanted to protect the camera  from the cold and wet and gross. #priorities

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dogs being dogs.

We didn't have class tonight. The instructor cancelled it late Sunday because of the threat of storms. It turns out the storms were  more of a threat than a promise and we didn't get even a drop.  Rocket spent the day at daycare and learned a new skill.

Bagman . There is a new alpha at Monday daycare and her name is Annabella. There has been a large male pit-bull with an attitude problem in the group on Mondays and Annabella and her three henchdogs offered him an attitude adjustment  - by kicking his ass.

Rocket wasn't the instigator, "He's not like that" the daycare guy assured me, but as it turns out he is one hell of a team player. Annabella  led the charge,  and then Rocket joined in. He didn't really know what they were doing but he thought that it looked like fun . The pit wasn't that badly hurt, a nice cut over his eye and the knowledge that Annabelle kicked his doggy butt.

I didn't even get a call about this! They just sprung the news as I was heading out the door with him. They handled the fight with sirens and water hoses and it was over quickly. It must have been a beautiful moment.  Rocket is fine, his ear is a little bruised looking and  they kindly pointed out that he now has blood that is not his, on his collar. The whole thing makes me uncomfortable because I have very clear memories of Daisy getting her alpha on and how awful it made me feel. Is this going to be a pattern with him? Can I let him sniff sniff other dogs? Daisy went from baby bunny to angry weasel in  a heart beat.

 In Rockets defense, Daisy was seven when she was diagnosed with Addison's and part of that was that her adrenal glands stopped working and with them her fight or flight  instinct. She lost the flight instinct and was left with fight. I spent years terrified of running into other dogs. It was lonely for both of us but she never tried to hurt anyone either ( because she had no opportunities to do so). I hated living like that and I really, really hope that this was just about instinctively following his pack and not a new hobby.

The daycare guy did say the pit was behaving aggressively and was not an innocent in the whole affair, but now I have to worry about daycare and I had not done that before. I hadn't had to spend time worrying about if Rocket was being mean to other dogs or behaving in a unfriendly manner. I always ask about how he behaved and they always say he "Loves to play and has so much energy! He's just jumping around all the time. He just plays the whole time!" So, is he a pain in the ass to the other dogs? Does he get on their nerves? Does he get the other dogs agitated?

I didn't even have to send him today, we didn't have class but I wanted to run errands. The next time I might have to weigh how much I am bothered by the dog peeing on the floor. It makes me anxious but not as anxious as worrying about my dog getting in touch with his inner bagman.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Garden 2014 Update 4

What I didn't get done this weekend:
  1. Mow either lawn, needed to, planned to, but didn't get to it. Will do this week.
  2. Do my light load of laundry, I got the dark stuff done but ran out of time for the other. Will do this week.
  3. I shopped for meatloaf fixings but didn't make get around to doing it. Will do this week.
  4.  Added mileage on the exerbike, decided the toting and lifting and general labor counted as cross training. Will do better this week.
It sounds like I am going to be busy this week.

What I did get done this weekend.

  1. Attended the Democratic County Convention. Clay Akin was there.
  2. Went to the city and dug, lifted, carted and distributed (the hardest way possibly) six  heavy bins of dirt. This was two trips out there and way more manual labor than I am comfortable with. I discovered that mulch is lighter than compost.
  3. Tilled everything.
  4. got the irrigation hoses layed.
  5. got the weed barrier down.
  6. brought the bean trelisi up from the basement.
  7. planted tomaotos.
  8. bought a wheel barrow, one day too late.
  9. Walked to Church.
  10. Walked the dog.

Post soil amending and tilling



yes, they are planted too close together but I don't have room for them to planted the proper distance. Every year I plant them too close together and yet every year I manage a good harvest. I am going to plant peppers in the front with my Burpee sauce variety and more toms in the back.

I intentionally left the far sides open as they get too much shade and nothing grows there. I decided to cut my loses this year and not irrigate or plant those areas.



I want to point out the progress the potaotes have made.

It took a while but they came through.In the center area I am going to plant corn.

Out of nowhere I have real plants!

I have also bought onion sets (very cheap) but I don't know where they are going to go yet, possibly in bins.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Go me

Five more miles.

Five miles in a row on the bike after dinner.

Yesterdays entry was caught in a Blogger time warp so it was posted very late. So that everyone can read it at their leisure. I bring  you


Did you have a looonnnggg week? Baby cat feels you! Sometimes hugging it out doesn't cut it, there are days you just have to SCREAM it out. Ace hopes we all have a great weekend to make up for  a frustrating week,.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keeping it moving.

I briefly inspected my bike this weekend while touring the shed and I was not moved. It may have been out of the elements all winter but its certainly the worse for wear. The tires are both flat and in the past I have learned that on this bike, a flat tire means a bad tube and I can not do replace the tube myself and I do not always want to hear about how hard the rube is to fix should I find some one to fix it.  I'm also walking an hour all ready and maybe I don't need to spend so much time out in the elements.

I do have another bike. The exerbikle has been babysitting Rocket for months in the office and since it has done such a good job I decided to let it out of the office and back into my life. I had forgotten how not hard it is to peddle! My new goal is five miles a day in my lovely climate controled. I had been taking the dog for a second walk but I think its a good idea to  cross train when possible and so now I can. I moved the exerbikle into the living room and I can peddle and watch my DVR.

The dog does not "get" the exerbikle, it makes too much noise and it doesn't seem to produce anything. He is a very results oriented dog and he doesn't see the use in a thing that makes noise yet doesn't move.

Speaking of dog, here are two pictures I took while on our walk. We went to the museum and played with their landscaping.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Urban Pioneers

I followed through on my goal to get my garden supplies together before the weekend. I went off to Wally World and bought new hoses, the old hoses no matter how cautiously put away always rot over the winter and its pointless to try to save them, but I do.  I save them over the winter because I want to be thrifty but then I pull them out in the spring they fall apart in my hands and then I have to run out to the store to buy more. I decided to just buy new ones and cut out the middle frustration.

Anyway. I was in the parking lot of Wally and I thought to myself I really need to get the fabric staples to hold the weed barrier down and now I need to go to Home Depot. and then I thought Well, I did promise the dog  a walk when I came back . If I get the staples now its going to be too dark for  a walk by the time I get back home. . And then I said to myself I did not have a conversation with the dog about my plans or my schedule and I certainly am not "breaking a promise" to the DOG if I run the rest of my errands. I don't think we actually talked about this. and then I said The dog and I do not have conversations.

I went to Home Depot and got my staples and came home and walked the dog double time through the neighborhood,( be careful what you ask for because you will surely get it) because it was dark and power walking is Good For You. We were making the swing back towards the house when I was walking through an intersection and out of habit I looked up the street. I saw two rather large deer sculpture in one of the yards, and I said to myself I wonder what the neighbors think of the yard art. Because that is statement yard art  And then yard art crossed the street!

I've seen possum and fox and rabbits and now deer. I was a mile and a half from downtown Raleigh. This is not a wild life friendly place and now I have to worry about deer ticks. In downtown Raleigh. Yay for new and improved Urban Hell Holes, now with Lime Disease!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Agility Week 2

I found an new and improved route to the class and now I can safely say that I have indeed been behind Robin Hoods barn .We survived another week of class and Rocket was only moderately embarrassing!

He did very well with his jumps but not very well in  his sitting and staying before his jumps. He really does not like the idea of me going ahead of him, he wants to join me where I am and that precludes wasting valuable class time sitting and waiting to go. He feel he should just go, because the whole point is going not "staying". He can not understand why so much emphasis is put on "staying". Its confusing.

He does very well on the obstacles, a real rock star. What he does not do well is what happens after the obstacles. The pausing and staying aspect as opposed to the running to  what ever obstacle he thinks is the most fun this week.In his perfect disobedient, world he prefers to run joyously to the next obstacles, preferably a tunnel and maybe over to the pointy thing again, it was fun.

Tgis week are homework is working on his sit/stay and waiting for me to release him. We are going to do this by him having to wait to start his meal until I release him to do so. I am to put the food down and have him sit, he can't start his meal until I give him permission to do so. A huge turn around from what we used to do when I put his food down and then fetched him from where ever he wandered away to and then me begging and pleading for him to start eating. This week is officially Sit/Stay Week, not as exciting as Shark Week , but thanks to Treat Theory and the wonder of pepperoni, he will eat like a great white at a seal convention.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Garden 2014 Update 4

Another weekend another weekend spent doing absolutely nothing, well not "nothing", I got out of bed. I did successfully walk the dog a number of times, I did laundry, I went to Church, I mowed both yards for the first time this season, I got the dog new dog food and I put gas in the car.

In only forty-eight hours. Actually, I did a lot.

The potato plants continue to fight the good fight and are trying like hell to get to the surface. Next weekend I am going to go to the city and get more dirt for the big garden and probably try to get the hoses down ( buy new ones, because who am I kidding? I always have to buy new ones) and if I am very lucky, get the weed barrier in place and try to figure out how I am going to water the corn on a daily bases. I am thinking drip hoses like the big garden but if so, I will need to use the other spigot. Or, better idea,  I can use the fab sprinkler I bought at the end of last season and I can just plug and unplug that as needed.

Shopping list for coming week:

  1. New dirt from city
  2. Garden staples
  3. drip hoses
To Do List for next weekend
  1. Spread dirt in main garden
  2. add dirt to small garden and bean location
  3. Till everything
  4. get drip hoses placed
  5. put down weed fabric

The staples and he hoses I can get during the week, the dirt is a Saturday job.  I bought one set of tomatoes from Burpee this year, but they are really good, strong plants that I first tried out last year. I'm going to get the rest of the veggies from the farmers market. I haven't even started to plan the front flowers yet! I do know I am going to use the shoe hangers slash flower planters again, and I will have to replace the big grass plant and most likely the ferns. I am sad about the room mate ferns but I think they may of just came to end of their life cycle. I had the big fern for four years and the little fern for two, it also was just so cold this winter that even living inside the entry way, it was too much.  Sad ferns.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging


Second evening trip to Walmart in two days. Sad now. The computers at work still do not work as well as before the "upgrade" and every day is a little more frustrating than it was yesterday, but in yesterdays defense, it is a lot better than it was last week.

This is a sexist thing to say : Too many of our IT people are forty year old women who didn't go to college but have taken a lot of  computer classes.  Watching them makes me sad.

I got next to nothing done today because two ladies spent two hours fiddling with my machine and their cell phones. Thanks to their labor I did regain control of my label maker but I have to get my scanner back on the leash.

Am hoping to sleep all weekend.

Oh, and April 4, 2014 marks the first time this season I wore shorts, not only wore shorts but swore shorts in public. I am also thinking of doing the seasons first mowing  of the lawn over the weekend.