Tuesday, April 30, 2013

CGC Week 1

 What We Learned On The First Day of CGC Class : Treating separation anxiety in dogs . You can't pass the test if the dog can't let you out of their sight. If we took the test today, Rocket would have failed spectacularly.

Better news, Rocket did great in daycare.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Garden Day 2

There was then and then there was now

This "after" and "before". AKA After my father and I unloaded 1000 pounds of dirt, and before the thousand pounds of dirt.

Along the fence I plantd five Ixora Maui" shrubs, they will do well over the summer but they'll die in the fall. No loss, they were under $5 a plant. Here is a picture of Ixora
In is tropical home, it grows into hedge rows. Here it won't be as happy but it will be pretty.

Clearly, the smaller of the pallets is planted with curly parsley, fennel and chives, the blank spots are planted with carrots. Along the bottom are some flowing blue and white flowers. The watermelon are both oblong varieties. The actual kinds aren't important, but they do look different so I can keep track of which is more productive and who gets a job next year.

 It is not going to be a good year for beans. This is the worst planting location in the yard. The Tee-Pee is lovely though and put together by my Dad.

Sunday I battled with the irrigation timer and slept. It rained and was cold and the garden and I were exhausted.  My Dad did all the really hard work.

* Not pictured - Me stepping on  the prongs of a rake first thing Saturday morning and slamming the handle into my left temple. Thanks to working in he theatre I was able to curse and keep working!The only acceptable excuse for stopping is death! (this should be said in the chirpy-ist tone possible) Thank you Theatre for teaching me that suffering blunt force trauma is no reason to stop what I was doing. I got the damn job done.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Knows I have a new camera, pissed it has taken me this long to introduce him to it.

Garden 2013 Update

I was walking the fence-line after dinner and I noticed that the weed barrier was not the flat expanse of , well, weed barrier that I remembered. My barrier had developed "growths", swellings, weed barrier pimples!

I went to investigate and instead of smart ass brawny weeds to destroy, I found struggling little volunteers! I've never had volunteers before. I pull everything out and till three or four times over the season and  then cover it with weed barrier  and this usually this does a good job in eradicating any leftovers from season to season. Well. This year my birth control failed.

The first one I found I couldn't figure out what it was, it wasn't located in an area where I had planted anything last year and my thought was that maybe it was an errant bean - which would have been fine, I was going to give it its own tomato cage and let it do its thing. Its not a bean, its a potato! When my first round of spuds froze to death, I pulled them out of the bins and gave them to the puppy to play with. A couple ended up in the garden but I knew I was going to till the hell out of it, that there wasn't much chance of anything especially frozen to death potatoes, germinating.

Until one did.

The others may be spuds, but I don't think so, the leaves look different and I'm thinking they are some kind of flower, although the only flowers I ever planted in that bed are marigolds and they don't look like marigolds. They could be Borage

Which I did plant but in another part of the garden, but I do know that they are aggressive little self seeders, so maybe but looking at the pictures I found online, I don't think so. I also can't speak to very young borage since what I planted was about half grown when I put it in the ground last season. A ground covered by self seeding thwarting weed barrier.

They could be peppers, as that is what has grown in that bed for years, but I don't think so, pepper leaves are different. Its a mystery. Whatever they are, they are safely tucked in now and will most likely be the only things in that bed. Its never been a very productive bed for me and I wasn't planning on using it this season anyway. Apparently, the garden had other ideas.

Something I found a could identify was a morning glory vine. I had wanted to plant some in a different part of the yard and now I am one up on my morning glory planting. I'm still going to plant more, but this is a neat way to start. I'm not positive that it is going to enjoy being transplanted but morning glories re nothing if not hardy.

I also checked in with the tomatoes, they look good. A little smaller than I would like, but they have all ready grown and are standing much more upright than they were at first.

I would really love to get the rest of the veggies planted this weekend before they think the entry way is going to be it for them. I'd feel bad if that was what they thought I bought them home just to make them live like that. Poor plants! I want them to know that I am usually a very good urban farmer and i would never expect them to live out their lives in my entry way! Not unless I saw a really compelling article about it, anyway. "DIY Green House! Put your unused Entry way to work for you!! I need to get them out of my entry way before I figure out a way to make it work.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Newbies

The yard  wanted to be mowed, I understood that its supposed to rain and that by the time the yard would be dry enough to mow, the neighbors would want it to be mowed - and nobody wants that.

It was on my list.

And then the hipster mowed his lawn! This doesn't happen very often and if the hipsters yard looks better than mine? It is now time to mow the yard. The couple is nice enough but they aren't particularly forthcoming and we don't really speak. We spoke today.  We talked about the For Sale sign disappearing from the needs-to-be-mowed yard of the house across the street.

I was mowing my lawn when a car pulled into the drive way of the house across the street and out popped Couple 2 from a few weeks ago. The people! They also have a basset hound and a baby boy. The closed on the house this evening and they wanted to come try out their new keys.

I gave them their privacy and finsihed my yard. With the outside was looking better, I turned my sights to the inside.I mow the yard because the neighbors see it, I don't vacuum the inside because I try not to see it. I had to do something before the only right tool for the job was a rake.

I took care of the living and dining rooms and the hall way and dogs room but I still have to tidy the bathroom, hang up  most of last winters wardrobe in the bedroom, make the bed and clean the entryways. Fun.

This weekend my father will be here and we have a lot of work to whip the backyard into shape and hopefully I'll get the vegetables planted and the vertical gardens taken care of too. The summer is lucky its so damn cute because it s a lot more work than its ugly sister, winter .

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Drawing the line

Yesterday on our walk it was cold and today it was warm bordering on hot. Rocket and I dallied in the field near my house for a lot of our walk just because we could. Rocket cavorted - hard to achieve on a leash, but he managed.

He managed on his pinch collar a that, yesterday he was on his significantly less pinchy caller and he ran me into a wall, so today was about "limits" and "boundaries" and "obedience".

And today there were no walls to climb.

Rocket didn't seem to mind.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Thursday or Friday of last week I decided that spring had sprung and I needed to add de-winterization to my To-Do list. I put my coats away because I didn't need to access them anymore! I uncovered my water spigot and plug in a hose even planted some plants! Outside, in the spring! Yay!

Inside the house I put my flannel pjs back into storage and send my fuzzy sheets and electric blanket with them and replaced them with summer weight cotton sheets and jammies. Sunday morning I woke up in a fetal position wondering why I was so cold and I began to rethink the whole "spring has sprung" idea. Rotten spring! It stuck its head out, look around watched a few minutes of CNN and decided to go back to bed.

Do you know how hard it is to fit very young tomato plants with tiny parkas? The potato plants are a little more cold weather tolerant but I still had to get them fitted, individually, for little polartec vests. The baby corn so far is still in utero, but I'm going to need  to find ten very small flannel sleepers soon.

As it is I'm going to have to come up with some sort of green house solution for the baby plants I bought over the weekend. I can't put them in the ground until it gets warmer and I don't think they really want to live in my entry way until the weather warms up. I'm going to have to find a window that is 1) Cat Safe and 2) Not Drafty . I'm going to have to take them to work.

Thank Gawd I didn't put away the puppy's space heater or he would have been a pupcicle by the time I came home from work today! He has a little more body fat now, or at least he had a little more body fat, even with the help of the space heater by the time I came home from work and he was back to being skin and bones again.He;s not going to like it, but I'm seeing footed jammies in his future.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Garden Update

On to happier things. Today I picked up what is mostly likely the rest of the garden.

In that tiny jungle I have :

California Wonder peppers, sweet bells

Better Bells

Kind of a theme, I like green bell peppers. They are good as seasoning in soups and stews and stir fries and they are great stuffed.

I also have now three kinds of tomatoes. The Burpee Super Sauce variety I planted last weekend

And now I add Better Girl

and Tomato Celebrity, these are both for slicing.

I got my yearly watermelons, but this time I bought two varieties,  new for 2013, I picked oblong fruits. Variety #1 is
And variety #2 is
Charleston Gray
Both are big guys, but I think they will be fun. This week I'm going to work on getting everyone in the ground where they will join their container brethren, potatoes and corn. I'm hopeing to get my beans planted and the tee-pee constructed next weekend and then on to the sun flowers and the pallet project!
I got my pallets together, not the direction I was planning on going but the direction  I ended up choosing as an alternate did not direct me on a non-stop trip to Temper Tantrum City! The instructions online looked so easy to follow and so simple to do... LIES all LIES! Not a single video mentioned that staple guns are the tools of the devil!
I took the road less infuriating

They didn't turn out as elegantly as I had hoped they would, but I can still plant in them and they should be pretty when they are filled. The pallet on the bottom will be planted with herbs with some taller flowers planted in the bottom section and the larger pallet pictured on top will have flowers and other decorative plants.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging

Happy Things

I decided i don't want to think about annyyyy-thing.  Everything makes me sad. So... Puppy  Pictures!!! Yaaaaaayyyy!!!

 A happy place.

Look at that baby dog!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Garden 2013, Day 1

My good friends at Burpee decided that today would be the day I get the plants in the ground - Mostly by sending me my plants, with instructions o get them into the ground ASAP. So in the ground they went.

This was the first time they have arrived on a week day, normally they arrive on a Saturday. It was a surprise but a good surprise and so in the ground they went.

Aren't they adorable?

I decided that if Burpee thought it was warm enough to plant my 'maters that it must surely be warm enough to get my corn in the ground, or "into the potting mix" as well. I amended it with some gentle fertilizer and a couple of handfuls of alfalfa - Corn is a "heavy feeder", so I started it off with a nice meal.

In a couple of  weeks I'm going to plant more seeds and a couple of weeks after that, more still. I have fifty seeds all together. I don't have to plant all of them all, but why not?

Since I had the camera out I took everyone else's pictures too

The container potatoes. I wish they were all doing as well as the first barrel, but it gets the most sun and is further along. Maybe I should move the others around a little? But as the summer progresses the ones further down the line will get more sun.

The experimental traditionally planted potatoes.

This weekend it is suposed to be wet and cool so I most likely won't get anything else in the ground, but I am planning on getting the pallet garden at least constructed this weekend. I would like to get my watermelons purchased and planted sooner rather than later and I want my peppers and slicing tomatoes to follow them. The beans are going on their very own Bean Tee-Pee and that isn't going to go up until the end of the month. I need to breath. I need to go to the Farmers Market.