Sunday, May 24, 2015

Kaa-Blam

If anyone ever needed proof that good soil provides good results, all they'd ever have to do is look at my raised beds this year.


We tossed yards of mushroom compost in the raised beds and then topped it all off with a couple of bags of composted Moo-Nure.  

Then planted the seeds.
And added the water and Kaa-Blam.


Monster Zucchini plants and Yellow Summer and Winter Squashes.



And Cucumbers.



And Beans.



Even the Zinnia bed is looking better than I've ever seen it.
My raised bed garden is going nuts.  
In comparison, everything that's "in-ground" is stunted.


No doubt due to the fact that the roots are trying to grow through dry soil.

So I'm amazed at the results I'm getting with the raised beds since I'm standing there watering with only the hose.  I know there's no way that I'm providing any deep soaking to the roots so I'm slightly mystified as to why the raised beds look as good as they do.

So I googled Mushroom compost and water retention.  Holy Moley..Lookie Here!

Mushroom Compost stores up to 70% of its own weight in water
Improves transmission of water through the soil
Keeps the soil cooler in warmer weather and increases soil resistance to both wind and water erosion

So that explains it.  
I hit the jackpot on this one, didn't I?

Of course June could turn into a wet soggy mess.  It was a washout last year I recall.  Something like 10 inches of rain if I recall correctly.

 I'll be curious how it goes with really wet weather.  But for now, I'll take it.

Maybe I should spread mushroom compost on the lawn.  
The lack of rain is killing any grass we might have and the weeds have taken over.  

At least I don't have to mow @;)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mom Is In The House

Sorta.

Actually the house came to Tami.  

See that rig?

Folks have been rubber-necking all day.  Mom and Bob and I sat in the rig for a time watching how people looked as they drove by.  It was good for a laugh.

It's going to be a glorious holiday weekend here.  
I hope you all have the same.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It's All Your Fault @;)

I was doodling around on my blog page when I noticed a number.

1018.  Huh?

I have published One Thousand Eighteen posts.  
I suppose this one makes One Thousand Nineteen.

Holy crap...who would have thought I'd have that much to say?  
I mean it's not like this is a political blog or I'm spouting health research.  

It's just me.

A middle aged suburban wife who works a full-time job and plants stuff in her backyard.  Big whoop-dee-doo.

Then I looked to see how long I've been doing this.  

Technically I have CRS disease (Can't Remember Shit) so I looked back and realized that I started this blog exactly 5 years ago.  Yeah me!  I stuck with it!

Then I looked to see where my audience actually comes from.  Here's the list of "Who's To Blame" and guess who tops the list?


Referring URLs

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That's right.  Mama Pea.

It's all your fault.

Stand up and take a bow Sister!

You deserve it.







 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Days of Salad and...Uh, Slugs!

It's freaken beautiful out there.  

Sunshine and highs in the 80's but every night it falls into the 60's so I can open the windows and cool the house off.  Great sleeping weather I might add.

The only downside is that it's been dry as a bone out there.  Not a good thing for any gardener trying to get plants established.  I've been lugging water to the landscaping plants we planted along with hosing down the direct sown veggies in the garden which are trying to get a toe-hold in the dry as concrete ground.

I was out there just this morning with the hose.  It's hard to get a good soaking in for these little guys so I spend some time every day giving them a squirt.  Rainwater would be SO much better than my puny little efforts with the hose but you can only deal with the cards you've been dealt so we'll see.

So I'm standing out there swishing water back and forth along the row of Asian Long Beans that I planted along with some cucumber's.  



SM is standing out there supervising with his morning Cuppa Joe when suddenly he hears his wife shout "Why you Fat Fu@ker" into the peaceful, predawn morning.  

SM practically spewed coffee out of his nose and I suppose any neighbor with their own windows open for fresh air got a good wake-up call. 

I had just spied a slug with a cucumber sprout in his sluggy little mouth.  I suppose the rage I felt warranted my morning potty mouth.  Truly...I don't usually talk that way.  SM came over to inspect the evidence and reasonably told me to plant more cucumber seeds as I tossed the bastard over the fence into the neighbors yard.  I then spent some time lining the plants with more DE.

The raised beds are doing better mostly I suppose because of the loose mushroom compost.  


Oddly enough the slugs left the raised beds alone this year.  The squash and bean plants have doubled in size this week so I'm not too worried about slug destruction at this point.


We started eating lettuce this week too!  So tender and sweet!  I rigged up the shade cloth to try and keep it that way.  The longest I've been able to keep lettuce from bolting has been around mid June so I expect we'll have a month of good salad eating.  

Well, enough of blogging for now.  
Back to painting windows.  
The dry days are good for something at least!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fresh Cut and Cutting In

In other news, I mentioned to a neighbor how lovely her peonies were (mine are not in bloom yet) and she went in and got her scissors and cut me a lovely bouquet.  

"In return for all the lovely flowers you've given me."  She said referring to my zinnia bouquets I gave her last summer.

I'm spending most of my time painting our wood exterior windows.  It's more than just a little bit tedious, let me tell you.  

I have to paint the window trim twice to get a good coat on, letting it dry in between coats.  Then I take a straight edge razor (window scraper) and scrape back all the paint from the glass to give me a nice clean edge.  Then I have to paint the brick mold and sill a different color.  

So all in all I'll be at each window at least 4 times.

I have 24 windows to cut in.  
At least I don't have to wonder what I'll be doing this Summer...Ha! 

SM and I got a price quote a few years ago to replace the windows.  Seems like that's what everybody does.  But we could end up spending 15K+...A small fortune that I'd rather save for our retirement.  

I said as much to SM and pointed out that we'd be better off repairing what we have and letting whoever buys our house in the future deal with replacing the windows if they feel that strongly about it.

So that's what SM will be doing this Summer.  Replacing rotten molds and trims and repairing the windows as best we can.  We watched a Rehab Addict episode where she "sister-ed in" some window molds and replaced a sill.  

I suppose more energy efficient windows would be nice but there's a pretty good chance that whatever we would install NOW would need to be replaced again by the time we're ready to downsize.  

Seems like everything has a limited lifespan anymore...
 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cowpies And Baby Birds

The garden has an interesting look to it this year.  

Besides my humongous effort to create a neater garden with wider (weed free? ha) walkways, we also needed to amend the soil and build the raised beds up to an adequate depth for growing.



The raised beds were easy.  Several truckloads of compost were shoveled in and the veggies seem to be happy about it.


The in-ground beds were a mess of weeds.  I didn't see the point of spending money to feed the weeds so to speak and mentioned this concern to SM who simply said..."Why don't you just put the compost where the seed is."

Brilliant!  So that's what I did.  I bought bags of composted manure and placed the seeds on the bare ground and then covered them up with a handful of compost.

That's right...No tilling happened.  Just toss and cover.  Looks like a bunch of cowpies to me!



So everything is in except the tomatoes which I hope to get tomorrow.  I'll do the same thing with them but dig a hole and back fill it with compost.

While I was out in the garden, a baby Robin fell from the sky and caused a great uproar within the canine community.  You'd think it was a ham-bone. 



The baby bird saw the movement of the neighbor dog and started flopping over that way while the parents had a hissy fit overhead.  I got to it and took it on the other side of the fence where it's parents coaxed it to the safety of some trees.  It's a ground flopper so I'm not holding out hope that it will survive but you never know.  Hopefully the parents will still feed it, it's certainly loud enough.

Yesterday was Dr-Day and the appointments were set for 11 and 2 so the only thing I got done was the a.m. gardening.  

I got my bum smacked for being over-weight and threatened with statins to lower cholesterol if I didn't take care of it myself.  

On the other hand, she RX'd me some Metro-gel for the rosacea and told me that I could stay on the Lexapro for the rest of my life if I wanted too. 

Clearly Sister-girl is in Menopause herself and knows that a girl just can't put a price on her sanity.  

I'd rather be a drugged up happy person than a total Bee-atch any day! 

Just ask SM...

Image result for menopausal bitch


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Condiment House

When the day is done and I'm in my relaxation mode slouched into my recliner with a glass (or two) of wine in my hand, I like to watch mindless stuff.

Like reruns of Mike and Molly.
And anything on HGTV.

 Image result for flip or flop
The big thing on HGTV now is these total gut jobs of old nasty houses that are turned into The Home of Your Dreams.  I watch these shows curious to note what features they consider gutable.  

Carpeting in favor of hardwood floors.
Tile instead of vinyl.
Maple cabinets instead of oak.
Granite instead of laminate.

In my wine induce haze, I suddenly realize my entire house would be considered a gut job.  I also notice that when they're shopping these crappy houses, they give them nicknames.  

Which got me to thinking.  If my house was on one of these shows, what would be it's name?

As I look around, I notice that I really gravitate towards a warm color palate.

Most of my house is decorated in yellows, reds and greens. 

Hm...Mustard, catsup and relish.
The Condiment House!

Even the new exterior colors I bought trend towards these colors.
I never thought about it before.

It seems that the HGTV color palate is full of gray, white and a soft sage green or soft blue.  All of those colors are pretty but too cold for me.

 Image result for hgtv fixer upper

What about you?  What would you name your house if it was on HGTV?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cleaning All Around

I was out in the garden by 7am yesterday raking and pulling weeds.  I also laid more fabric in hopes that I'd start slinging mulch on the rest of the garden pathways.  (Didn't happen.)

Anyhow...While I was out there schmucking around I got to thinking about how the in-ground beds were much more manageable weed-wise because I'd left long strips of fabric on the beds to deter the weed growth until I was ready to plant.

And I got to thinking.
A dangerous thing...@;)

What if I just move those long strips around as a temporary block.  Remove when I need the ground to grow any seasonal item and then cover it back up.

You can see the green that wasn't covered up.
Hm.

Last week I had called and made a date with Stanley Steemer for Monday morning.  I have a Bissell Carpet Cleaner that gets used every month or so for general cleaning and also whenever the need arises with the dogs.  

SM and I have been going back and forth about replacing the 20yr old carpet that was here when we bought the place. He wants to replace the ugly green carpet in the Master and I want to replace the living room/hallway.  Now that's a lot of mulah to spend so we agreed to postpone if a professional cleaning makes a difference.

So SS came in and I must say they did a good job.  They wanted to upgrade me with all the enzymes and deodorizers but I kept it to a basic clean.  Whatever they do is temporary at best with 3 dogs and 2 humans.  What I'm mostly curious about is how long the carpet stays relatively clean and fluffy.  

The kid who was trying to up-sell me told me to hold onto the carpet I had.  He told me a story of a long time customer of SS who did annual cleanings with them and had replaced their carpet 2-3 yrs ago and is now very dissatisfied with the quality and lack of "stain master" that was advertised. 

After that I went out and planted some beans, mowed the backyard and hosed down all the windows and trim in anticipation of getting some painting done.  I also hosed down the back porch and wiped everything down to try and get rid of any residual pollen.  

Things are finally winding down in that department. Thank Goodness!


Monday, May 4, 2015

All Over The Place

Let's get this out of the way right now.

 


Now back to our regularly scheduled post.  
Yesterday was kinda odd. 

I couldn't really settle in one particular direction so I went everywhere and I can't really say that I got all that much done. 

I stood there watering the garden while SM inspected the goods.  

"That's the lettuce?"  He asked looking down at the sad little nubs.  No salad for us anytime soon!




"They'll start growing more with the warmer temperatures."  I reassurred him.
"Lots of squash ya got growing there."  He observed.




"That's right Baby...No such thing as too much squash."

"What's that?"  He asked fingers twitching towards the Yarrow I'd planted that must've looked like a weed to him.  I explained that I'd planted it to bring the bees in.  Not that there's a bloom in sight anywhere in the garden yet.

Then I headed over to Sherwin Williams to buy some exterior paint that was on sale 30% off.  Yeah Me!

While I was out I took the car through the car wash to get some of the pollen off.  By the time I got back, SM had a call for a job up around Hickory so he headed out and was gone for the entire day.  With no one to boss around I decided to work on the stairway areas some more creating flower boxes on each side.


And then Casey dug it all back up when my back was turned.  She must've thought I'd done all that just for her play in.  Bad Little Pig! 

So I swept everything back in and gave it a squirt of water.

Then I got hot.  
As in the sun is hot on my menopausal neck hot.
And my motivation went right out the door.

So I cleaned up and went out and did some shopping.  I had received a double whammy of gift cards from my employer for my birthday and for my 15 yr anniversary working for them.  

Gift cards are great but I like to use them ASAP so I don't loose (or forget) about them.

Anyhow, I'm hoping to get back on track today.
What will today bring, I wonder...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

And So It Begins...

Sorry for the missed blog post yesterday.  SM and I got started early with shopping for supplies (which took way longer than it should) and I never got around to it.  

I have an excuse!
I was distracted.

You see, the 2015 Staycation has begun!

For those of you in the know, Staycation is the week where I devote 100% of my time to projects around the house.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...there's cooking and cleaning going on as usual but Staycation is where I make an impossibly long list of to-do projects that just can't seem to get accomplished on the typical 2 day weekend.

And Boy, Oh Boy...Have I got a stellar week to kick-ass.  
Low to mid 80's and no rain on the horizon.

So whats on the list?  Too many things to bore you with but I sorta broke them down to Tami things and things I can't do without SM (aka: Chuck).

Yes...Chuck The Yard-Bitch is back and yesterday he muscled gravel/sand and heavy stone pavers to complete Project One.  

The last tread from the back deck to the ground was a whopper.  Since the ground slopes away from the house we had one side that easily had a 10" ankle crippling depth.  

The dogs figured out quickly which side to climb up, particularly Casey-Pig who would pose for several long seconds trying to hoick her back leg up to the step so she could get her bodacious body up the stairs.  Always a funny sight.

Anyway, here's the finished project.  A nice normal 7" rise from stone to step.



Most of the work you can't see as we had to dig up dirt, box the base in, argued about how to do that, back filled it with the rough sand/gravel, argued about how to level it all, took turns showing each other how to level it, sweating, cursing (in my head at least) and trying not to smush our fingers on those freakin heavy pavers that I picked out.


In the end we were high fiving each other for a job well done.  In the grand scheme of things, it really didn't take all that long (2 hours) and we didn't have to stop 14 freaken times because something broke or we didn't plan things out well enough and had to run back to the store.

That's half the battle...running back and forth to the store.

So that's one down.  
What will we do today?  
Who knows.
Check in tomorrow and find out. 
If I remember to blog about it @;)