Wednesday, April 30, 2008

At least my garden is doing well

When things are sucking in general, I think it's important to find anything positive to focus on. Which in my case is the garden. The veggies are all doing well. We ate some of the lettuce the other night fresh! I can't wait until I can bbq ears of corn out of our garden. Grandma's Nasturtium is over the top...I think I need to trim it back because it's choking out some other things I've planted. I don't know when I'll get to that though. And the how they've grown! DH built a little trellis for them and I helped him put it up the other day. The only things that are not doing well, suprisingly, are the marigolds. Who'd have thunk you could kill marigolds!! I certainly have never managed it before. But this time I am. A bad batch? Who knows. I might rip them out and replace them with new ones. Or Zinnias! Or something. Whatever. Deep breathes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sicky Girl

Sick again! Do I blame DH or do I blame Mom? I guess it doesn't really matter. What's done is done and I feel like crap. What's the worst part of being sick for me is that I have a hard time laying around and doing nothing. I feel like I should be doing *something*, painting, weeding...whatever! I'm going to go home early from work today and lay around. Maybe I'll do laundry which doesn't take much effort and yet will still cross an item off my all important to-do list.

A dear friend is getting married this weekend and there will be much partying to be had. So I hope to be feeling much better by then!

What else is there to report?? The spare room needs a good deal of touch up. I guess the dingy-est walls in the world are hard to cover with such a light color. And unfortunately I've run out of paint! I don't want to spend 30 or 40 bucks on another gallon, so I've been using the bottom of the can and I'll probably buy a quart. Rather then do a third coat, which it doesn't really need everywhere I'm just going to hand-paint over the corners and spots where the coverage isn't the best. Hopefully it will be satisfactory in the end. Now that all but touch ups are done I must say it looks alot better and I'm really satisfied afterall with the shade of yellow that I chose. It's screaming for curtains and artwork though! It's all coming together in my minds eye however! I think I'll probably have to buy some fabric and blinds, and some picture frames. I'm not going to invest much more then that though, because this is a spare room and would likely get proper furnishings someday should a small person come around to occupy it.

The garden is growing, growing, growing! The plants have all increased in size dramatically other then the hot peppers which I believe need more heat to really take off. I'll have to post some pictures, especially of the hops which are getting huge. They have some shoots that are literally crying for something to climb on, so DH and I (assuming I feel up to it) are going to build a trellis for them tonight.

Maybe I'll take some pictures today. It's supposed to rain, which I'm glad for.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yellow things


(btw...don't you totally want to go where this pic was taken??)


And then there spare bedroom...

It looks pretty good in the above picture...but check out how it glows in the morning sun:

It almost reminds me of...dare I say it....(*insert here my best Deathklok death metal voice*) GRANDMA'S KITCHEN!!!!
LOL. So the yellow is slightly brighter then it looked on the paint chip. I'm not by any means afraid of color (as they would say on HGTV), but I do tend to forget that paint looks a shade or two darker on the wall then it does on the chip. DH was like, "DAMN, that's yellow!. Heh. I think onces it's done and all the stuff is back in it, and the trim is painted and there's window treatments then it will look fine. And if not, that's the beauty of painting. I can simply paint it a different color.
I've always wanted a yellow room! When I was a wee lass, around the age of 12 I got to move into a different room in our house - a cooler room, with pretty white lace curtains and accross the house from my parents and brother. It was like freedom...AND I got to paint it whatever color I wanted. I strongly toyed with yellow, but ended up going with light blue (blue is still a favored color of mine for bedrooms). But now at last I have my yellow room. Hopefully it won't blind me when I'm trying to sew in there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

OMG I'm gonna cry

DH just called to tell me excitedly that the birds were gone from the nest in my fern. The babies had been getting big and covered with darling little feathers. We thought at first that they had flown away to be happy little birds - then while still on the phone he said "OH NO". He found the baby birds, both of them, dead in the front yard. /cry. We don't know what happened. He said they looked like they had been pecked to death and they were quite a mess. Best we can figure is that they were unsuccessful at their attempt to fly away and jays or something must have gotten to them. I'm so sad! Nature can be so unforgiving.

Monday, April 14, 2008


It took a day of planning, a day of working (and getting sunburned) and about 10 trips to OSH. But the drip system is IN. It still needs some tweaks - a new sprinkler head here, some drippers there - but the raised beds can now be watered with the turn of a switch. We didn't put the timer on yet - but eventually we will. The system runs along both sides of the patio beds (I need to install watering devices here - I tried bubblers, but they put off too much water. I think I'm going to replace with drippers. Then over our retaining wall - unfortunately the cement went too deep to go under it. Then it t's off and one branch goes behind what I'm calling the three sister's beds, and in the other direction it's going to our main raised beds. We are now ready to install the gravel in our walkways, and then other then planting, maintaining and harvesting - I think that we'll be done with projects in the back yard for a while - at least until after the house is painted.

I also managed to get a nice chunk of the spare room done - the ceiling! My least favorite part of painting, behind the sanding. I bought the yellow paint and it's very cheerful. Tonight I need to caulk a few little spots on the baseboard (we are getting lazy and not replacing the baseboard in this room) and then tape it off so I can paint the walls. I should be done by the end of the week - at least with everything but the trim. Yay! Then I will have a sewing room, which will be good because I have some projects I'd like to start on.

I want to make a patchwork duvet cover. I figure that it will be like making a quilt with out the tying and batting part LOL. I have tons of quilt scraps, some of which came from fabric from my great-grandmother's dresses. And I've always had kind of a love affair with calicos. I don't want any color scheme or pattern. It will be completely 4 or 5 inch squares of whatever random fabric I have and whatever fabric catches my eye at the fabric store. Harder this way with no pattern, because you can't do strip quilting (Have I ever mentioned what a genious Seamstrix Art is?)...but fuck it - I like the old fashioned random squares quilts alot and I wants one. And making it duvet cover style will please the hubby.

The other crafty project I need to start on is chemo caps for my auntie. She has brain/lung cancer and her hair should start to fall out from the treatment next week. Gypsy Junk suggested it, and I checked with my cousin and she thinks it would be VERY well received. I'm going to go now - and finish my project audits hopefully soon so I can search for patterns.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Morning moments in the yard

I woke early today - I wanted to get to work early because I'm leaving around noon today to head to San Jose to visit with my aunt and take her to her radiation appointment and dinner. Consequently I was on my walk and watering my yard earlier then normal.

About a week ago I frightened our nesting dove away, so that I could water my plant. I got peered into the top of the plant expecting to see the egg - and instead found two little baby birds! Very very very little - I watered around the nest anyways, but was concerned that I had made a mistake and they were too small to not have her warmth atop them, even for a few minutes.

I've wondered this morning whether they were okay, since I hadn't even heard a peep yet. So I stood on a chair in side the window and pulled the curtain back. I guess I startled her, because she flew off and left the two little babies there - very much alive and staring at me. PHEW! I tried to take a picture, but it didn't come out well.

I ventured to the back for watering and found a hearty snail making it's way towards my sunflower seedlings. I think not little snail! I hucked him over the fence, prompting a stern admonishment from Noke, our neighbors blue nose pitbull pup. It's actually the first snail I've seen - there's been a few slugs after rain, but no snails! I don't even have any type of snail protection going on. I suppose now I'll sprinkle some sluggo and buy some copper tape for the top of my raised beds.

On to watering - I love standing out there watering in the brisk mornings! And today I had a little visitor. As I watered my tomatoes, a little hummingbird approached me. He was silvery with a nice ruby throat. I stood very still as he got closer...and yet closer! I raised the hose a little and watched with glee as he danced in his little shower. He then flew up to perch on the lilac tree and shook out his little wings - then returned for another spray! He must have been about 2 feet from me. It was soooo cool!

I think I'll buy a new hummingbird feeder this weekend. Mine is old and even hot wash didn't get all the clogs out. They don't even look at it.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hops and Apple Blossoms

OMG we're gonna have so many apples. The tree looks so pretty, just a week or so ago it was barely budding.

DH's hops are sprouting quickly. We can almost sit and watch them growing. There are two varieties - Cascade and Nugget. The above pic is of the Cascade...I think. Hmm. I know the Cascade Barrel is on the left....alphabetical order ya know ;). But I can't remember which picture was of which barrel. Ah well. Suffice it to say we love our wee little sprouts and though you can't tell from this - DAMN the little leaves look like weed.
I spent a little time out in the yard yesterday afternoon deadheading and examining the progress. I've had such a busy week that I hadn't had much time to be out there other then to water in the mornings. Things are coming along pretty well. The tomatoes have tripled in size already and the lettuce is much farther along then I thought. Also to my joy, the carrots that I had given up on are sprouting. I plan on ordering some late flowering bulbs and some more seeds to plant. Gypsy Junk cracked me up when she told me she put all 5000 love in a mist seeds in a single flower bed. And here I was following the directions on the seed packets! But she's definately having more success...wee little sprouts galore - so perhaps I'll be more liberal with my seed spreading - at least with the wildflowers! I figure on filling in the blanks in the border bed around the perennial shrubs I am planting with bulbs and self seeding perennial flowers and wild flowers, and maybe some nice grasses. I want some Jupiter's beard, Ox-eye daisies, Black-eyed Susans to start. Yum.
Okay - off to audit people's project files. That's my task this month and let me tell you I'm probably not the most popular person in the office right now.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Reasons I like my neighbor

I should carefully clarify and say that I like my back neighbor, and specifically his yard. Now most of my neighbor's are nice. The ones on the left are quite friendly and not bothersome at all, but their yard is quite boring, though well kept. The neighbor's on the right are very nice as well and have an adorable puppy. But their yard is quite ratty and they have a zillion people and cars parked all over the place, and let their kids throw trash on my lawn. But I digress. What I like about my back neighbor is his yard.

It's not really very fancy, but it adds interest to my own yard in many ways. The first and foremost being the array of mature fruit trees. There are lemon, orange, apple and persimmon, all providing a lovely backdrop (above) and all hanging over the fence enough to provide us with a ton of fruit. Let's just say y'all better want some apples come fall, because we'll have tons and when my dogs eat them, they get diarrhea, so I have extra special interest in picking them over letting them drop.

I also love this ratty old shed he has. It is so sad and decrepit, but it's very serviceable for him, and it's quite visually interesting to me. I especially am enjoying the juxtaposition of the chartreuse persimmon leaves against the shabbiness of it's rooftop.

Lastly I am thrilled that he has a rowdy patch of honeysuckle which spills profusely over my fence and frames this darling little outdoor fireplace, and grandma's clothesline pole (which we are keeping btw). As with the shed and persimmon tree, I just love the fresh new life of nature contrasting with the rustic old human elements.

In other news, of the to-do list variety:

  • Dirt pile gone - check!
  • Chamomile and Clover seed spread - check! (fingers crossed that it works out)
  • Spare room patched and sanded - check!
  • Gramp's tax extensions - check!
Yay! I love crossing things off the list. :)

I am busy studying the raindrip set up for the backyard....plotting it out and such. It seems pretty darned easy to set up. My one concern is that given how pathetic the water output in the back is with a simple sprinker - I'm not sure we have enough PSI to support a drip system. I'll have to figure out how we can check that. My hope is to be ready to install the drip system next weekend and do the gravel soon thereafter.

Happy Monday y'all!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Found it...

The flower I was looking for is "Sparaxis" aka Harlequin Flower. Yay! I knew they were out there somewhere! They are not related to daylilies. They are of the Iridaceae (Iris) family, and native to South Africa. I found a website that listed all spring flowering bulbs then I took the ones I didn't recognize and googled them until the right one came up. Here's some pics. Ima gonna order me some. We mostly had the variety in the second picture in our yard. I so enjoyed them as a kid. It might be nostalgic, but I kind of want to put some things in my garden that remind me of my beloved yard when I was a kid. Our yard was *rad* and was my favorite place, the catalyst for my imagination, my escape from everything, and by far the best part of my childhood.

What are these??

When I was a kid, we had some of these bulbs that poked up through our lawn every spring. They weren't exactly like these, but I can tell they are of the same family, just a slightly different color. Ours were redder with black mottling and we had some that were pink as well. They come up every year and their greenery is very sturdy. I just loved them as a kid and I want to plant some in my yard. My mother told me they were crocus, but don't think that they are, as every crocus I've ever seen or planted has been different then these, different shaped blooms, more delicate foilage and an earlier showing. But I don't know the name!