Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from the Man, the Boy, the Girl, the Dog and me.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Give Me a Break!

I've said it over and over again, but it still rings true.  Do you know what I like most about winter vacations and the like? 

Going to the restroom whenever I please.

That and sinfully having a beer at lunch. It's all about the beer at lunch, for that exemplifies the beauty of going to the restroom whenever I please.

It's the small things in life, my friends.

Vacations are usually a very bad thing in my life.  I don't react to inactivity very well.  I'm not saying that I've got down TIME during vacations because there isn't a minute to spare, what with running around and entertaining the kids and all, but when the day is done, my mind isn't tired.  My mind sits and spins and I can't sleep.  This leads to skeptical decision making like taking the entire yard over for the garden, putting red stripes in my hair and the like. 

Good thing, is that vacations do let me take care of things that need tending.  You may remember that within the last two years we lost both our dogs, a Malamute (Vladimir) and our Great Dane (Gibson).  I can't remember if we still had Gibson when EG visited or not, but he was an excellent dog.  Vladimir, on the other hand, was Vladimir.  More on that in a moment.

Fast forward to this summer.  The loss of Gibson was still fresh on my mind when the man came home and said, "How do you feel about getting another dog?"  I wasn't ready and didn't want another dog.  He responded, "'s too late."

And it was.....

This was Duke, the Great Pyrenees when we brought him home in June.  He came home in that laundry basket and was quite comfortable in it for weeks.  Then, as dogs tend to do, he grew.
 He still loves to crawl under this table even though he fails to realize that at 8 months, it's getting rather difficult for him to fit.  See that look in his eyes?  I'm coming to that.

Back to Vladimir.  The dog was allergic to dog food.  What, you say?  I say, whatever.  You can't buy venison legally here so I had to cook rice, broccoli and rabbit for quite some time.  Ever smelled a house full of boiled rabbit?  I broke down sobbing on a regular basis.  So now it seems we're struggling with Duke.  He's got terrible sores under his arms and we're thinking it may be a food allergy as well.  The break has allowed me time to get him to the vet.  The dr. seems worried that it likely may be a drug resistant staph infection which isn't good either, but we're looking into if he qualifies for a study being done at UGA.

Two days ago the dog was having some trouble and the man had to express his anal glands.  Duke now assumes the seated position every time the man is in the general vicinity.  Today, I had the unmitigated pleasure of spraying the antibiotic/steroid onto Duke's very raw under arms.  This is his, "Et tu, Brute?" look.  Hence the cowering under the table. 

Looks like lunch is over and the kids are clamoring to go outside - in the freezing cold and rain.  You know...why not.  Hot showers and cocoa are in our future.  Well, their future.  I'll be having myself a hot tottie, oh yes I will.

The morning comes early.  Hold on to your butts.  Sweet gardening dreams.  (I really did work out in the garden a few weekends ago.  I promise to get back to gardening soon.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What's With the Hair, Yo? (Growing up - our out. Whichever.)

Well, we may have lost, but we were not beat.  What an amazing game - and that was all I had wished for.  All four of us were yelling and screaming at the television until I tried to breathe while having a mouth full of wine.  I got a little taste of what it was like to drown and the girl freaked slap out.  While we were winning the game - and we were for a whole chunk of it - the kids went nuts with their "Georgia Style" dance.  I'll have to post it some time soon.
Got an email yesterday from a friend whom I haven't seen in a long time.  She saw yesterday's picture of me and my sister-in-law at the GA game and wrote, "What's with the hair, yo?"
Ah...the hair.  Reason number 3,048 that I shouldn't be allowed to have summer vacation.  I'll get to that in a minute. 
Suffice it to say that since this summer when I last posted we've all grown up quite a bit.  Well, the boy and girl have grown up.  I've grown out...semantics.
I couldn't resist this picture of the boy and girl.  Every kid loves jumping in a pile of leaves.  Jumping on your brother in a pile of leaves is priceless.  They're both runts, still, but they're good kids.  The boy's struggling with some silly behavior at school, but otherwise doing well.  We've started up drum lessons again. he loves Cub Scouts and he's got a student who comes to teach him French once a week before school.  The girl is attracted to shiny things.  You never know if she's picking up what you're putting down.  Her teacher says how quickly she learns, but God love her, she's a ding-bat.  The other day, she told me that I was doing a good job as a Mom, but that there was 'room for improvement.'  Of that, I am sure.
A couple of weeks ago we took a boyscout trip to "See Rock City" and then a side jaunt to Ruby Falls while we were there.  We all had a great time.  I love taking day trips like this.  But wait...there's the hair again...It wasn't just for the game?
 We have a new principal this year, and he's amazing.  We are able to do so much for the kids that we've never been able to.  One of these things translated into spirit days for homecoming.  We had character day...
 Nerd day - I borrowed the boy's Mercer math camp shirt.  He was a bit shocked to find this qualified him as a nerd.
 and then we had decade day.  My classroom neighbor sported what the kids said was the "50's goth" look, but was undoubtedly 80's and I relived my high school years with the 90's grunge.  Felt strange to be in high school wearing the same thing I wore day in and day out in....high school.  Surreal....even the hair is similar......
 So here it is - nice and shockingly close up - you can go vomit now.  I got bored this summer, and since there was no more room for more garden boxes, I bleached and then dyed a swath of hair on the underside of a side of my head red.  Bright blood red, actually.

I've kept it since August and I think I'll keep it a little longer.  It keeps people guessing if nothing else. 
The morning comes early...and I'm headed to clean out that garden.  If I don't come out, don't come searching for me.  Save yourself.  Sweet gardening dreams.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Glory, Glory to 'ole Georgia!

It's game day, sports fans!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not disillusioned enough to think that we'll actually pull off a win today, but the excitement is enough for me. 
The boy came up to me this morning and said:
Boy: Mom, we are watching the game this afternoon, right?
Me (screwing with him): It's a possibility.
Boy: What exactly do you mean by 'It's a possibility?'  You do understand that this is the most important game of my life, right?
Start 'em young.  Raise 'em right.  ;)  He's outside now in his old H. Walker 'uniform' running around like a nut case.  I threw the football with him for a while, but he doesn't so much care for playing with me because whereas he can catch everything I throw, I apparently do not put forth enough effort to catching his balls.  I, however, maintain that the ball must be thrown within a 50 foot radius of me in order to be considered worthy of shagging.
Even the girl got into the action.  She's so much fun to watch football with.  For some crazy reason she can pick up the whole field with those little eyes and catch penalties before the refs throw flags.  In a game earlier this year, we're all sitting on the couch and she yells, "Holding! You can't do that!"  The man and I look at each other like she's nuts, the flag is thrown,'s holding.  Crazy.
It's been since my freshman year in college since I've been to a Georgia game, but this year my sister-in-law's friend, who has season tickets, went into labor and couldn't use theirs.  Woot!  Game on!  It was just so awesome to be part of the crowd again, and the day was just beautiful.
 Here we are, living the life.  The kid behind us was hysterical.  I must say, we had an absolute blast.
That all being said, we're exactly an hour away from game time and I've got to go get a shower and into my gear.  I'm not saying we'll win, but if the Dawgs bring their game, this should be exciting to watch. 

The morning comes early.  Sweet gardening dreams....if you commit to the G. 

UPDATE:  The girl's telling us to take our places and get ready and I just found the boy in all of his glory.
He's committed, for sure.    ;)

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Second post in one day after a six month hiatus.  Don't get too choked up, now. 
Hmmmm...may need to rethink this blog title before I publish or strangefettishgoogleman may make another appearance.  Then again, life is nothing unless lived dangerously, and that is why when I was transporting the boy to a pool party in August, we took the 'safe way.'
On the way to that particular end of town, you come to a crossroads.  You can go the way of twisty, dark, narrow, residential streets, or the more modern, 'safe' route with newly paved, wide streets and the same minimal traffic volume. 
We chose the 'safe' way. 
I should have just risked my life dodging the random escaped cow on the dangerous way.
So there I was, minding my own (fill-in-the-blank) business, driving my merry tuchus off.  The car in front of me wanted to turn left, signaled such, and stopped until traffic cleared.  I stopped behind and it was when I was at this dead stop and minding my own business that another car came flying around the corner (he was texting) and slammed into a Grand Cherokee that slammed into my merry little tuchus.
 Yes, folks.  That's third party damage.  The passenger in the first car came through the windshield and both passengers in the Cherokee were carted away by the ambulance as well.  The boy and I were the only two that walked away. 

I was so upset.  The Saturn was such a good car.  It was paid off!!! *commence sobbing* However, they said it could be repaired. 

And then they called to say the frame was bent in three places.  They totaled it out. 

I just notice that I tend to write in very short, very insignificant paragraphs.  Look, here's another.  ;)

Anyway, we were so set that it could be repaired that I never thought to look at/for another vehicle.  On my way home I thought, I rationalized, I compromised with my own self and I was remarkably agreeable to myself, but the line was going to be drawn on one point and that line was non negotiable.

Later that night, after the kids went to bed, I sat down next to the man as calm as I could be and said, "I honestly don't care what kind of car I drive, and I don't have much of a reputation, but what reputation I have will NOT be driving a minivan." (Apologies here to everyone who loves their mini van.  I know y'all are fiercely protective of them.)

Since I was in high school, I've been obsessed with Wranglers, pointing them out at every turn and going out of my way to park next to one so I could drool.  I've coveted a Wrangler like others want a Ferrari or a perfect round of golf.  It wasn't going to happen.  Ever.

I gave the man my pitiful, "Please Lord, don't make me drive a mini van" face and he said, "I thought you wanted a Wrangler."

Well, Yeah.
He apparently had one all picked out and had been putting money into another account to save for 'the day.'  It just came sooner than we expected. 

So, here you go


Here she is.  She's so dark, dark green that it looks black in the regular light, so I put her in the sun for this shot.  She's stock, but beautiful.  It wouldn't hurt my feelings to lift her and put on larger tires, but that day will come.
So after the shock of being spanked while at a God's honest dead stop twice in a matter of three months (the first left no damage), I'm thinkin' I wound up on the better end of the deal.  I'm a giddy girl.

"Recieve what cheer you may; / The night is long that never finds the day."

Hi.  It's been some time since I've updated the blog.  I hope you'll forgive me.  *bows head in humble supplication*

I could make a thousand and one excuses why I haven't blogged this century. The kids ran me ragged over the summer, I teach more students than I ever have in one semester and the essays are piling up, the curriculum has changed so I've had to start from scratch, both kids are now in school and completing homework, we've gotten a new puppy, my car was totaled, my camera is wonky, my shoulders hurt to sit and type, Blogger was giving me fits...the list can go on.

Fact of the matter is:  I quit.

I just stopped posting and then stopped for so long that it was difficult to go back to the pattern.  I wanted to.  I set aside time to. It never happened.  I wanted to read your blogs.  I missed your friendships.  Life got in the way and it was easier not to blog or read others for doing so made me even more guilty for not blogging. 

A vicious cycle, indeed.

I felt the blog was getting stale.  I wrote the same things over and over again.  Here's some zucchini.  Look, here's some more zucchini.  Guess what I harvested today.....zucchini!  You all understand, I'm sure.  The summer garden simply overwhelmed me.  I was bringing baskets and baskets up to the school over the summer and for the greater part of this school year.  Never have I had a better harvest....and now you won't believe me, for there are no pictures.  ;) 

I was burned out with the garden.  I didn't plant a fall one, and as a matter of fact, most of the summer garden is still out there, waiting for me to remove the frail grasp of soil it maintains.  I just haven't mustered the determination to clean it up.

Reading back over this, it sounds as if the waters have closed over me and I'm paddling with half a limb, but all is truly well.  Things have a pattern and there's a stable routine to our day.  I could truly live life as a dog and eat the same thing day in and day out.  Throw me a peanut butter laced treat every now and again and I'm a happy, happy girl.

If anyone happens by this, I'll catch everyone up directly and shove in pictures where I can.  The wood is coming toward Dunsinane.
The morning comes early.  Sweet gardening dreams.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


It only took five years, but I've grown peppers.

Friday, May 18, 2012


And there's more in the fridge.  I wonder if you can make Granny's zucchini cupcakes with squash?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Squash Bugs? Already!?


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Inhale, Exhale - Just Breathe

Congratulations to a girlfriend of mine whose first novel is being published today!  It's been amazing watching the novel take shape from an idea, through rough drafts through to editing and now publishing.  Kendall isn't new to the publishing world, but this is her first full length novel and I couldn't be happier for her.  I was lucky enough to have snagged a preview copy of Inhale and it was fantastic.  I can't wait for the other two books in the trilogy, Exhale and Just Breathe to come out in the coming months. 

What else is fantastic about the novel is being a whale activist herself, she's donating all proceeds to whale education.  How's that for dedication?!  If you're interested in paranormal romances, you might want to check it out.  The reviews on GoodReads and Amazon say it all!

Here is a trailer she made for the novel and a synopsis.  Follow down the page for more information on whale education and Inhale.

Strangers in reality, inseparable in dreams…

After years of suffocating under her boss’s scrutiny, whale biologist Zoe Morgan finally lands a job as director of a tagging project in Hervey Bay, Australia. Success Down Under all but guarantees her the promotion of a lifetime, and Zoe won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. Not the whale voices she suddenly hears in her head, not the ex who won’t take no for an answer, and especially not the gorgeous figment of her imagination who keeps saving her from the fiery hell of her dreams.

Gavin Cassidy hasn’t been called to help a human Wyldling in over a year, which is fine by him. Still blaming himself for the death of his partner, he keeps the guilt at bay by indulging in every excess his rock star persona affords. That is, until he’s summoned to protect Zoe from hungry Fyre Elementals and learns his new charge is the key to restoring order in the dying Dreaming. He never expects to fall for the feisty Dr. Morgan…nor does he realize he may have to sacrifice the woman he loves to save an entire country.

*This book contains graphic language, sex, and some violence. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.
**The author will donate all profits from the sale of the JUST BREATHE trilogy to programs that educate people about whales and the challenges they face.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Round 1 - FIGHT!




I ain' even gonna lie.

Round 1 is done.  Three more to go, but none should be as bad as this.  The woman kept asking if I wanted a break.  You could tell she didn't like my answer.  I could see the shots - they were the viscosity of rubber cement - there were three full to the brim syringes.  There was a beginning and an end.  I told her it wasn't like pregnancy - a nine month unending hangover.  This was childbirth and there was an end.  An end I could see sitting on the table next to me.  Plod on, my friend.  And so she did, but I made her laugh and she pressed the plunger too hard, too fast.  Such is my life, although in hindsight it was just as terrible as the rest.

So, sports fans, it's done.  The rest of the rounds are just shots in the arm. 

Good news, this morning we caught a cat.  The wrong cat, but a cat.  The animal control called my cell around 3 and said they were at the house getting the cat.  They reset the trap and by 5 we caught the right cat.  He's in the trap caterwaling now.  I'd be pissed, too.  I can't believe it was that easy to get him.

I keep playing in my mind how grateful I am that he came after me and not one of the children.  We were all three of us standing there together.  He had his pickings.  He picked me.  Thank God.

The morning comes early, and all will be and is well.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Raise Your Hands!

Come on, everybody!  Raise your hands in the air if you love, love, LOVE rabies shots!!  Woohooooo!!! Par-tay!  Go, Ribbit.  It's your birthday.  Go, Ribbit.  It's your birthday.

Ok, it's not my birthday.  That would make this suck all the more worse.

Rabies shots start tomorrow.  Animal control was wonderful and came out to set a trap.  They're being very helpful.  The Dr. at the clinic I went to yesterday was seemingly unconcerned about rabies, but I called my regular dr today just to make sure the bite was in my file along with getting the tetanus shot and she's 150% convinced that rabies is an immediate risk and I need to start treatments tomorrow.

You can't make this stuff up.
I wonder if there's a rabies awareness color I can start for Keychains for a Cause.....  :)  Hey, if I don't laugh, I'm going to cry....which I did - right in the middle of class after I got the innitial phone call.  Then, as I was walking back to the classroom a magnificent senior asked if I'd be his escort for the baseball team's senior night - their last home game.  After school, I ran to animal control, back to the house for them to set the trap and then back to work to fetch the kids.  We got the student a candy bar 'flower' arangement, the kids and me a pizza and went back to my school to eat so I could get some work done and then went to the ball field.  While we were standing in the middle of the field, the second call from the dr. came through.  I had to leave the field to take the phone call.  I felt bad for the kid, but since he was in the class where I teared up, he understood, but I still think it looked bad.

I'm telling you, you can't make this stuff up.

At least I'll have a better chance of surviving a zombie attack.

The morning comes early.  Damn that cat.  Sweet gardening dreams.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Really? I Mean, Really?

Y'all don't even know the half of it. 

Before I get to the totally unbelieveable non-gardening aspect of this post, let me take a moment to tell you that the garden is growing in leaps and bounds.  I'm trying my fourth position for the peppers and they seem to be doing well.  I planted all of my tomatoes out today - six in a box and then six in pots.  As always, it was interesting since this year, even though I didn't forget to label them like last year, I think the kids got out there and moved my labels around.  The only ones I could correctly identify were the Brandywine.  The rest will be an adventure.

We're eating lettuce and radishes like they're going out of style and the beans and cucumbers are sprouting and broccoli headding and I've only pulled three cabbages with worms.  The rest seem okay for now. 

The squash in beds is doing fantastically and I couldn't bring myself to throw out some squash seedlings so I put them directly in the ground on the side of the house.  We'll see what becomes of them.  We do have some volunteers in the burn pit.  I can't believe they survived even after we fired it, but this is where we threw the pumpkins out and they look like they'll now be staking their claim to the burn pit.
They won't get any sun now that the trees are filling in, but I think it's funny how the seeds know just what they're supposed to do and get the job done regardless.

On to the non gardening portion of our show - but you've got to wait for the good stuff.

On our way to St. Louis for spring break we stopped in Metropolis, Il.  We got a guide book and went to see the antique fire truck at the station and wound up getting a very indepth tour of the facility.  They were FANTASTIC to the children.
Now, no town can be named Metropolis without it being dubbed the home of Superman and no town tauting itself as the home of Superman would be complete without a giant Superman statue in the middle of town.
And now I've seen it all my friends.

But there are times where you just look at your life and go, "Really?  .....Really?"  Such a day, for me, was yesterday.  There has been a feral cat roaming the neighborhood for a few weeks.  Around 8:00 yesterday morning, the kids saw the cat on our pool deck and asked if they could go outside to see it.  We went on the upper deck to look and when the cat started to come closer, I said to them, "You can look, but don't touch that cat.  You don't know what it will do." 

The cat was a love bug.  It was meowing, rubbing itself on the wood, grill and house, rolling over so we could see its belly.  I then said again, "You can look, but don't touch that cat."  The cat apparently took exception to that, popped up to his feet and began slow, low to the ground, stalking me.  I was able to say twice, "The cat is stalking me - get away, " when that rotten cat pounced at me like a jack-in-the-box.  That nefarious fiend turned his body in mid air so its jaws were on either side of my shin, clung on with teeth and claws and then pushed off just as swiftly as he pounced.  I'm afraid I spouted a few unladylike words as I herded the kids inside. 

It surely hurt, but I didn't think he had gotten to do much damage because I had on sweat pants.
Those would be nice puncture marks.  I look like I got into a fight with a vampire and lost. 
Let's run this down:
Feral cat that attacks unprovoked
Cats have FILTHY mouths and claws
Feral cat
Last time I had a tetanus shot: before I went to college - and for the sake of arguing, let's just say that was a long, long time ago.

It took me hours to find a clinic that was open, and of course both kids were unwilling to let me out of their sight, so they came with me.  The Dr. was about to go to lunch, so I took the kids for some themselves, only to return to hear that she couldn't help me since it was an animal bite and she sent me somewhere else.

We sat at this somewhere else for about two hours.  Both kids were fantastic with the exception that the girl was convinced all would be well if I put my leg up which meant her kneeling on the ground assuming the position of someone giving an offering and then me placing my leg in her outstretched arms while we were in the waiting room with God and everyone else.

Four hours, a tetanus shot and antibiotics later, I barely had time to shower before I had to leave to chaperone Prom, and as I wrote in an email to a friend earlier, I didn't get home until around 12:00 Am and couldn't fall asleep because the residual beats inside my head said 'dance on, fool!' However, being that I was not in danger falling out of my dress from either the front or the back from by dress being seven sizes too small, my sense of adventure rapidly dissipated and I achieved Dreamland which even so proved more difficult than I thought since I couldn't rest on my left because of my leg and my right arm hurt from the tetanus shot.  I'm not begruding the kids tears anymore when they get shots.

Then, that rotten cat stalked me again this morning while I was in the garden.  It followed me from the side yard, under the fence and then to the back door as I ran in the house.  The man turned the hose on it, but it came back later.  That cat had better not be rabid.  I need to call my dr. in the morning to follow up with her and see if I need to worry about that.

And yes, because I know you're dying to know, we did have one dress burst, tears in the bathroom, and blood spilled. It was A PROM, BABY!!!

The morning comes early.  I hate that cat.  Sweet gardening dreams.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wanna Be Part of a "Flash Blog?"

A girlfriend of mine is organizing a "Flash Blog" - kind of like a flash mob, but blogger style - to highlight whale education. It's timed with the release of her first novel for which all of the proceeds go to whale education.

Here are the rules:

You must be willing to post the film about whale education

You must hold off on the post until a specified date. The goal is for everyone to post it on the same day, hence a 'flash blog.'

She's running a list of sponsoring blogs on her own website as well. If you are interested, email me at the address in the far right column by Thursday, March 29. Send me your email and the address for your blog. I'll gather a list of interested bloggers and email you on Thursday with the details.

Judging by the scope of what she's already got going on, this is going to be fun. I'm in!

Terrible Sight in Roswell, GA

A fight has been brewing for years in Roswell, GA over a man dubbed the Chicken Man and his keeping of a large number of birds on his property. He's become a local symbol of the back yard chicken movement, but in my opinion, he took his mission too far. He's served jail time, suspected that his birds were poisoned and today he was facing eviction from his property.

Apparently, marshalls were there to aid in the eviction when the man called a news station and told it to get off of his property....and then the house exploded.

You can read more about him and all of the legal troubles here:

The battle has been poorly fought from the start with errors on both sides of the argument, and I think I've posted about him somewhere here before, but this is not the way it needed to end, or so I'm assuming it has ended being that a body was found in the house, but they haven't released whose it was.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

And...We May Have a Problem.

I do think we've got a few problems already this year. All problems, however, could be made okay if my tomatoes were germinating. They're not. I'm a bit disapointed. I'm hoping they'll do so soon as I really don't want to buy transplants. I don't know if they stock the ones I like. ;(

Here's what's not a problem. This is the picture of the oregano and parsley that went missing the other day. Holy Smokes! They were nuts. I'm thinking I should have looked up how to trim them before I butchered this lot. Problem 1. I'm hoping they'll grow back.

Here's what I snagged. I only took from that one parsley and the one oregano 'bush' beside it and some off of the rosemary behind it.
I've got it drying in my dehydrator now and I'll put little baggies in the mail room on Monday - clearly labeled baggies.
If you remember, last year the man put in a pool and I lost major points on my 'woman card' for fighting him on it. I really hate summers. I need to work and the kids need to be busy 24/7. I wind up doing some pretty stupid things over the summers (215 square foot garden anyone?). Anyway, even though it didn't get finished until the end of the summer, we sure got our use out of it.
We had to move the horseradish bed that was nice and contained in a little 3x3 foot spread. Looks like some roots went through the soil beneath and now are popping up. Sadly I'm using that soil to fill in the potatoes as they grow out of control. I hope I got all of the roots out. It's so incredibly invasive, isn't it. These will likely get mowed down, so who knows if they'll give any good roots.
Here's the big problem....
Look again....
Not sure if these are termites or just flying ants. They had calmed down a bit right before I took this picture. They were swarming while I was out there which made me stand there stupified.
Oh well. We'll see.
The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams....and if my tomato seedlings would come up it wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Plantings, Patty's, and Other Scurrilous Activities

Ok...Plantings come first - this is a garden blog you dirty minded fools. Then and only then will we get to the information that may be considered circumspect.

Apparently I've been gone from Blogger for so long that I no longer remember how to move pictures without deleting them. Well...that'll learn me. Now that planting season is really coming to a head, I'm hopeful, more hopeful than last time, that I'll get back into this regularly. I still am at least four months behind in blog reading. I'm just waiting for summer vacation and then LOOK OUT!!!! You'll be seeing some responses on posts you made in December and go....What?

I went ahead and started my tomato and squash seeds. The way things are going right now I'd say I could direct plant these suckers now and not have a problem. I might honestly put the zucchini and zephyr in the ground in two weeks anyway. We've got spring break and we're headded to St. Louis so I think they'll fare better in the boxes than they would at their own mercy on the porch. I'm hopeful, however, that Auntie Daddy will take care of the tomato seedlings for me....By the way, Auntie Daddy, will you seedling sit?

I hilled the potatoes for the first time today. Some have sprouted and some have not. The reds seem to be taking off faster than the Yukon Golds. Right now, I'm hilling only around the tall ones, but I'll start filling the box sooner or later. I direct seeded lettuce this year which was a HUGE mistake. I'm usually drowning in lettuce by now and the ones in ground are not even the size of my pinky. Chalk one up as a point for procrastination. I did plant carrot seeds and radish seeds this week, but we had a real toad floater and I half bet any of the carrot seeds are gone with the wind.

Part of the 'Gone from Blogger' syndrome is the subsequent random deletion of the awesome picture I took of the broccoli. Envision it if you would. I'll give you a moment. Beautiful, aren't they. Thanks. I thought so too. Anyway, I was taking their picture and as I stepped back I looked down and screamed.AAAHHH!!!! This oregano was put into a pot two years ago and was pathetic. Utterly beyond pathetic. I let it die. It died like it meant it. Last year it put out some pitiful shoots and plaintively at that. Just enough so I couldn't ditch it. I had no idea it had done this. Fantastic!

Cut scene to yet another missing picture of the other corner yard. I figured if this one looked like this then how about the other corner yard that I've basically ignored. Holy Guacamole! as my daughter would say. There are three there that are going crazy. Can you see it! Yeah, neither can I because the blasted picture went MISSING and I deleted it from my computer and phone. Whatever. I'll get out there tomorrow and give it another go - more push to post more often (and make shorter posts which doesn't hurt any of your feelings, I'm sure.)

I'm thinking of drying some of the parsley and oregano - for they are legion - and putting them in baggies and then in the mail room at school....hmmm...oregano in baggies. Maybe I'll add a note this time telling people what they are getting instead of just dropping the bags on the table.

On a personal note - gardeners can stop reading now if they choose - although there is something sacreligious at the end to whet your whistle if you keep reading...

This weekend we celebrated both the boy's and girl's birthdays. With them being only a month apart - literally - and since we can't afford to mortgage our house for a birthday party twice in two months, we usually combine theirs. This year they decided on the park where they could invite as many people as they wanted instead of only two friends each somewhere else. We had terrible rain all the night before and well into the morning. We were toast. I prepared the kids for a cancelation and the sun gods smiled on us and cleared everything up to an 80 degree day just an hour before party time. Then there was the cake incident. Ah, the cake incident. Now THAT's another post. A long one. Next time, maybe.

"Cake incident" notwithstanding, the party was wonderful! Here's a picture my mom grabbed of the fam. It's a great picture. Notice the cake. There's a story behind that cake. You'd be proud of me, my friends. Very proud.

Notice as well that neither kid is looking at the camera. They're attracted to shiny things. This is par for our course.

The man played a gig last night for St. Patrick's Day with the Old School Outlaws - his Southern rock cover band and the bar had this sign hanging over the stage where the drummer was located. Seriously? Read this. How completely sacreligious. Do these people know no shame? There's not an inch of moral fiber to be found in anyone associated with that bar and the shame transfers to us by association.
Good lord, people. Sundays is plural, not possessive!! *hangs head in shame*
Auntie Daddy was gracious enough to come with us, although she didn't quite realize this band plays three sets instead of the one the other band usually plays. We didn't get home until around 3:00 AM and my knees have gently reminded me all day that I cannot dance all night no matter how much of a stud I think I am.
We sure did have fun, however.
The morning comes early. And I really do need another day to recuperate. Sweet oregano and St. Patty's Day dreams.
Hey - St Patty's Day is all about green. Man, we gardeners ROCK this holiday.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Getting Growing Again

We've really had a lot of rain recently and that, coupled with very warm temperatures, has made things start to take off this week.
Almost all of the onions have broken the surface - I'm so using more nitrogen on them this year. My goal is to have onions that bulb up this year.
Here you can see the broccoli in the foreground and in the back corner box, you've got some cabbage which, as always, I just plant because I can and not because I think I'll get anything out of them. Cabbage worms have done me in every season except for one. I'm about to use some seriously bad chemicals on them. I may not eat the cabbages after that, but I'll get sick pleasure out of annihilating the worms.
My lettuce is starting to sprout.
And....woohoo! Potatoes! This is the first year I'm doing potatoes in boxes. The last two years I've done them in pots, but this year I've given an entire giant bed to them. Hopefully I'll get tons of them. I'm thinking I can dig some up as I need them and let the plants stay in the ground, right? With the pots, once I upended them, that was it. Hopefully this other way will work for me.[Image]There's still that nasty issue of the far corner bed falling apart. Rotting, rather. After the cabbage has either been eaten or sacrificed, I'll likely take the bottom boards off and just slide down the top boards. I'll distribute the excess soil across the other beds. Not sure if it will be too shaded by the other beds since it will now be half their height, but we'll see.
Things are starting to pick up and I hope that means I'll be blogging regularly again soon. What I REALLY need to do is start reading blogs again. The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's Good to be Back

Boy, once someone lights a fire under my butt, everything rights itself. Today was a beautiful day. Almost 70 degrees. I couldn't believe the kids were running around in shirt sleeves and flip flops and I couldn't even get mad about it.

After they built the deck for the pool this summer, I asked them to keep the extra lumber so I could fix some of my garden beds that were falling apart. Well....that never happened. The man came upstairs one day and said, "I'll buy you more lumber." I went downstairs to find this!

It looks better when cleaned up, but the thing is amazing. He needed a work bench in the basement and got frustrated enough with a project that he just threw the boards together to make a table. He laughed and said the years of box building helped him out.

So, I don't think I am going to build any new boxes, but see what I can do with the ones I have. I have a few like this one that are just getting eaten away from the underside.

There's one on the side yard that I'm just going to let go alltogether an another that I could replace, but I think will make it one more season and then I'll fiddle with it. I'm also thinking I may or may not go get a trailer load of compost this year and instead just amend with a bag here and a bag there. When I replace the boxes on the side next year I can go crazy with the loads of compost. This year we may just try to get by.

Today I moved the second square box from the other corner yard over to the main one. We had to take the dirt out of it this winter to burry the electric lines for the pool. The box never did well over there anyway, so this may work out for the better. I decided to plant potatoes in the box to the right, so as I was digging out dirt from there, I put the dirt in the 'new' box. Then, when the potatoes start to grow, I'll put the dirt that was in the box in this one to cover up the potatoes. It's the MASH version of gardening, but hopefully it will work out well.

I'm going to try to do my cherry tomatoes in gigantic pots this year which may or may not work. I'm also going to do the same for peppers. I've never, ever had pepper success. I just don't get enough sun, so I'm hopeful that if I put them in the front yard in pots I'll have success. We'll see.

Proof that the weather has been so fine is the herb garden. The oregano has never died off and the parsley...well...anyone need some? I've got enough to spare.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Are You There, Blog? It's Me.....Ribbit.

Apathy is a powerful beast.

Peer pressure is its nemisis.

Granny emailed me a while back to remind me I haven't blogged in ages and gently nudged me with an electric cattle prod. It has been awhile, hasn't it.

Not much has been going on in the gardening world after the garlic went in during the fall. New Year's came around and I went outside on the deck just to take a gander at the garden and my breath was sucked out of me. Down in the corner were two of the most beautiful heads of broccoli I had ever seen. They made for a lovely dish for the occasion. I had no idea they were out there. That, my friends, was how long it had been since I was down to the garden.

Garden apathy set in so deeply that I didn't even remember to order seeds for this year until last week and I never started my lettuce seeds indoors. I may still do that, but the girl and I attempted to direct sow some today. Those never seem to work out for me, but we'll see. The onions also went in today and the potatoes are chitting on the counter.

Our new problem for this gardening year is going to be those feral cats from last year that the neighbor is continuing to feed and not fix and they are multiplying at the rate of rabbits. We've got one male that keeps coming around, howling at all hours on our front porch and spraying the house indeterminately like the bug man.

It comes around to the back porch and yowles for the kids to come play, which they do. He doesn't hesitate to spray them as well.

They're mine, you flee bitten son of a motherless cockroach. Mine I tell you.

Of course, the children are enamoured. The girl keeps calling him 'Lucky.' They boy is intent on calling him 'Puss-y.' We will not be hypenating the name.

Anyway, said rodent masquerading as a cat and its harem has no shame and they have taken to my boxes as their own, personal litter boxes and Ican see they've been chewing the leaves of my garlic. I firmly believe they're the ones that took down the cabbage and, I thought, all of the broccoli from last fall. This is one of the reasons I am trying to direct sow the lettuce. Anything new, big, and yummy looking will be snatched up by them directly. If they grow there slowly, they may get used to them and not eat them.

Such is the nature of my delusion.

Anyway, I know it's tedious to read a long blog post with no pictures that says nothing in particular except for spew vitriol regarding rogue, unsolicited, insufferable felines, but such it is with a gardener who is lacking the finess of regular blogging etiquette.

It's Saturday. The man and boy are off at another's house and the girl is watching Tangled....again. The laundry is done and the house is clean as long as I fall prey to a Jedi Mind Trick. Therefore, I'm thinking it's time for a nip and a good book.

Until next time...and I promise it won't be months.
Yours Truly,