I was under the weather yesterday, so I spent the day nodding off in my chair in the living room. I’m better today, thank goodness.
We had a severe thunderstorm late last night. Thunder woke my husband up at one point during the night. No damage, thankfully. My sweet daffodils are all hanging their heads today, but should straighten up by tomorrow, I think. My garden seems to have come through fine.
Yesterday while I wasn’t feeling my best, my husband did the errands. He brought home six more bags of cedar chip mulch for us to spread around the garden squares, plus some lettuce plants. It’s 50 now and really wet. Since I’m still recovering, I think I’ll wait until tomorrow to do more on the garden.
I’m reading about what TO compost, and what NOT to compost. I’m all set up now, with the barrel composter we built, and a kitchen compost pail, but it’s going to take awhile before my old habits are replaced by what I’m supposed to be doing now.
This morning I threw away several bananas before thinking about it. Later I threw away coffee grounds. I DID remember that I was supposed to put dryer lint in the kitchen compost pail, but my record so far is abysmal. I’ll get better, but I refuse to stand head down in the trash fishing out what I SHOULD have put in the compost pail. The rest of the day I’ll concentrate on getting it right. Later I’ll take the pail out to add to the compost barrel.
My friend Cathy said that it was snowing in Colorado this morning, but that the sun was out and things were melting. I hope that winter is giving its last gasps all the way across the country and that soon all of us can concentrate on playing in the dirt.
Hope you had a good day yesterday, and that you have an even better one today.
We eat a lot of broccoli, so I got a whole flat of broccoli plants at the local store. I planted them this morning, putting in a shovel full of Mel’s Mix in the middle of each square. In square foot gardening, Mel Bartholomew tells you how many of each kind of plant to plant in the squares. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are one plant to a square.
I ended up with one six-pack of plants that I didn’t have room for in the main garden, but I’m planning to plant them in the converted brick planters on the east side of the house in the next day or so, depending on the weather.
This picture shows you what looks like a lot of clothes pins. I put a label on each one, then clipped them onto a Popsicle stick and stuck them in the ground to mark each square. They’ll only last one season, probably, but they don’t cost a lot. In this picture you can see in the foreground my asparagus. (The squares look empty, but they have good asparagus roots in their third year this year. In the two squares that are farther away, you can see the broccoli plants.
You’re not supposed to plant the same type of plant in squares that are side by side. This is to combat disease. I’ll make a diagram of where I put each plant so that next time I’ll plant a different type of plant in the squares to give a little crop rotation.
Since I ran out of room for all the plants, I planted 4 to a big faux terra-cotta pot at the end of one of the lines of squares. I made labels for 18 plants, but I planted a total of 40 – and there is the extra six-pack left to plant. I’ll need to print a bunch more labels before I go out again.
If the weather is cooperative, we’ll get 5 more bags of cedar chips mulch to make a more luxurious blanket over the black sheeting, and I’ll see how many lettuce plants I can get. I’ll also go ahead and get onion sets because they don’t have to be planted immediately.
Do you garden? Are you trying to grow veggies? I would be very grateful for tips!
Molly is a cross between a schnauzer and a cocker spaniel. This is Molly in her ‘natural’ state. We let her get like this in the winter because we feel she stays warmer.
Here is another picture of “Fuzzy” or “Winter” Molly before she went to the groomer’s.
In the spring, summer, and fall, ticks, fleas and burrs are all over the place. If we leave her looking like a sheep, she comes back from being outside covered. With her hair long, we can’t easily find the ticks, the fleas have families in her fur, and she cries when I have to remove the burrs.
This is “Summer” or “Sleek” Molly. Her hair is short all over. The burrs mainly stick to her ears, beard, mustache, and some on her tummy. I can remove them fairly easily with a comb without making her cry. I can lift her into the sink for a quick wash and dry when needed.
Our other dog, Bambi, looks the same in every season. We’re lucky that we almost feel we have 3 dogs because of the contrast between Molly’s sleek and fuzzy looks.
A year or so ago we had a foursome who went bowling on Wednesday nights when there was a special price after 8pm. We played two games, then went to Braums for ice cream. It was a fun night, good exercise, and it didn’t matter if we were any good or not.
Then, suddenly, they told us at the counter that they weren’t going to offer the special anymore – effectively TRIPLING our bowling costs! “But we throw in the shoes!” they said, when we protested. “We HAVE shoes!” we replied. End result – they quit offering the special, so we quit bowling.
We continued to meet with our friends each week that it was possible, we just didn’t get to bowl.
We looked online every once in awhile to find out if the company had changed its mind and started offering the special again. No, no and no!
Last week our friend said, “Guess what! They’re offering the special again!” It turned out that our friends weren’t able to go, so my husband suggested that we go anyway. We didn’t embarrass ourselves by throwing the ball in the wrong direction, into the next lane, or falling on our rear ends. We had a great time and then went to Braums for the first time in a couple of years.
Our friends are unable to go with us tonight, but we’re thinking about going again by ourselves. Who knows – maybe one of us will bowl a 200 game!
Recently I gritted my teeth and showed you how truly awful my square foot garden looked. I think it was the worst since I started three years ago because of the quick cold snap, and then the series of rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow, and flying hairballs that continued well into March of this year.
Happily, we THINK the cold weather is over now, so I got serious about trying to get my main square foot garden cleaned up. You can see now that the fence to the right of this row of squares is clear of old stuff, and that the planting squares are clear of weeds.
Here is the second row of squares. I have six large squares that are then divided into 16 1-foot-x-1-foot squares for planting. I have one full square planted with asparagus, plus two more small squares, or a total of 18 plants that are in their 3rd year this spring. I’m hoping to get a small harvest this year.
This view shows you most of the planting space in one picture. Later, the fence will be covered in tied up tomato vines, cucumber vines, and green pepper vines (I hope) and you wont’ be able to see much from this view.
This shot is taken from the other side of the garden. Today I spread out the 10 bags of 2-cubic-feet each of cedar chip mulch around the squares. One of the wonderful things about square foot gardening is that you clear a spot, then put down a barrier between your own soil (or lack of it in our case) and then put the wooden planters on top. The mulch protects the black sheeting from the sun, plus provides a weed barrier. Our mulch had ‘gone away’ exposing several black sheeting spots, so now our barrier is back.
The next step is actually planting, adding some Mel’s Mix to each square I’m planting. I’ll post pics as I make progress on getting things into the ground, probably toward the end of the week, since it’s supposed to rain tomorrow and Wednesday, if not more.
Are you playing in the dirt today?
We had a foggy, surreal kind of morning today. I was walking the dogs when I noticed these on the east side of our property line. I asked my husband what they were, and he said, “Spider Webs.”
I don’t like the idea of so many spiders around our home, but I thought the webs, glistening in the morning light, was wonderful.
I tend to get swamped by my to-do list, ever-growing, pointing its finger at me, admonishing me for mainly adding to it, rather than checking enough things off. This was posted on Facebook awhile back, and I love it.
Yesterday I was outside much of the day, helping my husband finish up the barrel composter we made and finishing weeding the main part of my square foot garden. Today was supposed to be spent spreading the ten bags of cedar chips around the squares of the garden, plus making batches of Mel’s mix to distribute.
Instead, we just got back from grocery shopping in the rain. Since it’s still raining, I’m switching gears.
I received a nice order for some custom note cards recently. I’ll spend some fun time getting the order going upstairs in my art room. I also do some writing for a good friend, helping with her website, and – if my Internet connection will cooperate – I’ll do some work for her today, as well.
I hope the snow that just hit the northeast again melts quickly and they can start celebrating the start of spring.
Have a fun day!
The concrete pad was dry enough today that we cut the rebar to make it even and then dollied the wooden base from the shop to the pad. With just a few attempts, the legs went right down on the rebar that was sticking up out of the concrete! We then put the barrel up on top. Voila!
This is a closeup so that you can see where the wheelbarrow will be rolled under the barrel when the compost is ready to come out of the barrel. You can also see two of the four casters on which the barrel sits, allowing it to be turned by grabbing a handle and pulling down. There are three handles on the barrel, so it’s easy to turn the compost inside.
This is a view with the door open. Turning it a bit more so that the opening is at the bottom will allow the compost to fall into the wheelbarrow. There are three hinges keeping the door closed. My husband altered a tool formerly used for grilling to slide through the holes in the hinges to keep the door tightly closed.
I spent a couple of hours finishing weeding in my square foot garden today, and wheelbarrowed a huge tub full of weeds and Mel’s Mix that was adhering to put into the composter. That brought up another problem – when I had the barrel positioned so that I could put the yard waste into it, the weight of the open door caused the barrel to turn by itself on the casters. This was NOT a good thing! I went into the shop to talk to my husband. We thought about it and came up with a line and hook that we hung on the back that will allow me to get the barrel into the correct position for filling, hook onto one of the handles on the barrel, holding it steady until I’m through adding something.
My husband is in the process of making a custom tool for the composter. I need something to get the finished compost out of the sides of the barrel and into the wheelbarrow. The stuff in the middle will fall into the wheelbarrow, but the sides of the barrel will still be holding a lot. The tool is like a special hoe – the blade part is shaped like the barrel and then there is a long handle so I can reach into either side to scoop out the contents. He got the tool made today. We’re painting it with rust-resistant paint, and then we’ll put a rubber motorcycle handle over the end for a good grip. We’ll hang the tool right on the composter so it’ll be easy to find.
I put the weeds from the garden into the composter today. The ‘soil’ adhering to the weeds made it harder to turn the barrel than it was when it was empty (SURPRISE!), but I did it with no problem, turning the barrel around and around several times to get it oxygenated and thoroughly stirred up. Tomorrow I’ll add the compost starter and start turning the barrel a few turns daily.
I received the stainless steel kitchen compost pail I ordered, so I’m all set to add kitchen scraps in the next day or two!
Soon we can call ourselves compost people!
One of the reasons that I’m just going to go and try to find veggie plants for my square foot garden is the lack of respect for my efforts to grow plants from seeds shown by my cat.
Here you see Abby lying comfortably on the back porch beside one of my spinach plants today. This plant had survived against all odds, and I was looking forward to giving it a prime spot in my spring garden.
I yelled at Abby, and she just looked at me, stretched, and proceeded cover the spinach plant with her body.
A little bit of remorse for causing me such displeasure would have been nice…
you feel that life is staring you in the face, asking more than you have to give,
just put your paws up and bite off a little bit at a time.
We had just about a perfect day.
We went to Lunch Bunch, having a good visit with our good friends. We did errands – getting 5 more bags of Qwik-Crete for the composter pad project.
We mixed and poured the rest of the concrete mix. Now we wait for it to dry and then hope that we put the rebar in the right place! :0)
I weeded in the square foot garden. I’m hoping to finish it by next week, when I can then start planting veggies. First I need to spread wood chips between and around the squares of the square foot garden, make replacement square markers from wood for the two planters on the east side of the house, and make a plan for what I’m going to plant where.
Our good friend Carla came up the driveway, walking with her sweet dog, Nikki. She watched as we cut out our latest mailbox decoration, Pepe le Pew and Penelope.
One of our favorite things is watching the computer-guided torch cut out the design. My husband has really gotten good at going from picture on the net to code on his computer to torch cutting out the design for us.
Finally, I received an order to paint a custom 10 note card package today. She chose my “Gold Trellis” design – one that is truly fun to paint and personalize. I’ll get started on it tomorrow!
I hope you’re having a wonderful 1st day of spring!
Recently I showed you the start of our attempt to make a pad for the barrel composter my husband built. This is just ONE of the many rocks we encountered, trying to dig a 3′ x 4′ place.
We dug a lot more today, still finding and fighting with rocks, but we prevailed. And you ask, “Why don’t you dig in another spot if you’re encountering rocks?” Good question! And the answer is, “When you live on top of a ridge line, the WHOLE property is rocks and more rocks. We had some 40 loads of topsoil brought in when we built here to put around the house to have a semblance of a yard because all there was was rocks….
This is the space ready to pour. We got five 60 lb. bags of Quik-Crete at Yeagers, figuring we would need 4 cubic feet of concrete.
This picture shows several things:
- You can see the 5 bags of Quik-Crete we poured into the form.
- The smaller wooden form is there to position the rebar that will attach the composter base to the concrete securely.
- You can see that the Quik-Crete only filled the form halfway. :0(
Tomorrow we will remove the inner form, and then we will go back to Yeagers, buy and pour ANOTHER 5 bags of Quik-Crete so that we can use a long piece of board to scrap the excess concrete mix neatly off the top of the form.
If it rains, things will be postponed, but I’ll take pics once the pad is finished, and then again, when the composter is up and ready to use!
Today was really an outdoor exercise kind of day. I helped my husband with the composter pad – at one point falling rear-end-over-teakettle when I lost my footing – and also worked for an hour weeding in my square foot garden.
Today I had a wonderful massage.
I always roll up our dog bed in the living room before my massage therapist comes so that we don’t have to fight with it while we’re putting up the massage table.
Today Bambi walked past us and climbed up on the rolled up dog bed! He stayed there until the massage was over and we were folding the table up again. Poor Bambi needs his own massage therapist….
Chrissie Anderson Peters posted this photo by George Takei recently. I loved it, but things got busy and I forgot to share it on St. Pat’s Day. Hope you love it, too.
This happy treasury was created by Oksana, an Etsy artisan who has a handmade jewelry shop called, “SanaGem”
I’m delighted that she included my “Mysterious Musings” Cat Journal in her treasury!
“Mysterious Musings” Handmade cat journal by Linda Lewis, of CreativeArtwks on Etsy.
Oksana is from Ukraine, and makes handmade jewelry using natural gemstones. I particularly like this necklace –
“Light Purple Agate Statement Necklace” by Oksana of SanaGem on Etsy.
Please take a few minutes to look at Oksana’s Etsy shop. You’ll find some really pretty pieces of jewelry for yourself, your co-workers, friends, and family.
THANK YOU, Oksana, for including my journal in your “Colorful Spring” Etsy treasury!
I realize that this doesn’t look like much right now. It represents at least a couple of hours of effort put in by two older-than-dirt people with a pick-axe, hoe, and sledge hammer, trying to define a place for the pad for our composter.
You can get a small idea of the rocks we were encountering. This is one of the prices we pay for living on top of a ridge line.
This gives you a different view of the pad. You can also see the rock we pulled out of the corner of the pad. We had to tie a strap around the rock and hook it to the trailer hitch on our truck. It still took some effort with a long pry bar to get it up out of the place we’re trying to clear.
This is the wood that will go into the cleared space very soon. We’ll try to pack around it with slag from the pile we have beside the shop. When it’s solid and level, we’ll go buy Qwik-Crete to mix and pour into the pad. Then we’ll place the rebar. When that is dry, we’ll mount the wooden base of the composter on the rebar and then place the composter barrel on top.
Since it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, and the local shops are selling veggies now, I spent most of the afternoon, off and on, trying to clean up my square foot garden. (Post to follow.)
For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way –
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
We put up our shamrock decoration on the mailbox in honor of the day.
We just got back from doing errands and are regrouping for the afternoon. You can’t see me, but I’m wearing a green blouse, plus my ‘many-shamrocks’ dangling earrings in celebration.
One place we stopped had vegetable plants! So this afternoon I’ll try to get my square foot garden prepped for planting, plus my husband will help me check out our irrigation system, making sure we can get water to the garden and that the dripper hoses are still working the way they should. I’m hoping to get my early plants into the ground by the end of the week.
I’m planning to plant more of fewer plants this year. I want LOTS of lettuce, spinach, and broccoli. I want to grow carrots, potatoes, and onions in the deeper planters on the east side of the house. Later I’ll plant tomatoes and green peppers, plus some watermelon for my husband. I’m hoping to actually harvest some asparagus this year, as it’s the third year for the crowns I planted.
I want to take pics of my daffodils, and also the progress on the pad for the composter so that I can share with you.
Have a wonderful day!
When we were out running errands today, we drove past a building on the square that was a fabric store when we first moved here. Then it became an ice cream store. It is apparently now becoming a place where you can receive acupuncture.
I don’t know how many years ago it was, but when I was an active member of the Greenwood Art Guild, we were approached by the city to do a mural on the side of the building. Since it was a fabric shop, we came up with the idea of creating two ‘quilts’ on the side of the building.
Several of us spent several weeks creating the murals. One of the guys laid out the paintings for us, up on a ladder, using levels, marking things so that we could then complete the ‘squares’ of the two quilts.
One of our members was a good paint mixer, so she spent hours mixing paint into a reasonable sized container, and then we poured this into styrofoam cups. We carried the cups and foam brushes to the paintings, some of us carefully climbing ladders, others concentrating on the lowest level, until both quilts were finished. The fabric store owner was really nice, providing us an inside bathroom, a place to sit a bit and rest with some cold water from time to time. It took a long time, since most of us worked full time and time we could meet to work on the quilts had to be carefully planned. The weather cooperated, for the most part, but the sun was really hot, tiring us out after an hour or two at each session.
When the quilts were finished, we signed our names. We felt as if we had created a unique addition to Greenwood, a little bit of history. Amazingly, no one vandalized the quilts.
Today I noticed the new sign on the front of the building. I started to mention it to my husband and then saw that the side of the building had been repainted, as well. Gone are the two quilts. In their place, smooth gray paint.
I know that the owner of the building wanted to rent it. I also acknowledge that changes to the inside and outside are between the owner of the building and the renter. But I naively thought that the mural wouldn’t be touched, unless, of course, the paint was pealing, or the designs were vandalized.
I’m happy that the owner of the building will receive rent now, and that we have another business in Greenwood. I’m just really disappointed that they agreed that the quilts were of no value to the city.
Some of the artists are not with us any longer. Some of us are no longer members of the Art Guild. It would have been really nice if people had valued something created with love.
I think I wrote a post a long time ago about the making of the quilts. If I can find the pictures, I’ll post them.